How Can A First Impression Start With Worry?
I had just got to my car rental at the Dallas Airport and the moment I turned my ignition on, the message said “Service B Exceeded by 5100 mi”.
Hmm. That did not sound good. I was not sure if I should drive the car for the next four days. I walked over to the rental car service person and made him aware of the problem. His reaction was “Just press enter and the message will go away!”
Amazing, the message did go away. But did the problem go away? For the next four days, every time I started the car, the message was back, and I hurried to press enter to make the message go away. Every time I wondered if I should still drive the car and questioned my judgment in listening to the rental car service person to veto the car manufacturer’s warning.
Needless to say, I was relieved to finally return the car after 4 days without knowing the consequence of Service B. The car rental company should have taken care of the problem before renting the car. That should be the customer service standard for the brand. When renting a car, a customer expects a worry-free experience from start to finish. That is true for any customer experience.
The Importance Of Starting An Experience Right
Just like a date, any brand experience must start on the right foot. Anything negative cannot simply be ignored, as it does not go away. In this case, pressing enter made the message go away, temporarily, but the problem was still there.
In this case when a brand failed to start an experience the right way, it caused the following:
- I started the experience with unsurety.
- It was a further negative that the service person was apathetic to my concern about the problem.
- Being forced to live with the problem for the entire duration of the rental made me worry about the car.
- Not knowing what Service B was, I was worried about what could go wrong and what else could be wrong about the car.
- Overall it made me feel negatively about the rental car company.
What Could The Rental Car Company Do Differently:
- Have a process in place where these problems do not have to happen.
- If a problem was brought to their attention, solve the problem by offering to change the rental car.
- Follow-up call or text to make sure everything is okay.