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Europcar Drives Change in Customer Experience – Industry leading initiative focuses on customer journey

In a ground-breaking move for the vehicle hire sector, Europcar, the UK market leader, has taken a leaf from its counterparts in the airline and hotel industries to create a fresh approach to customer experience management.

Following detailed research amongst customers and analysis of the customer journey, Europcar has created what it believes is the vehicle hire industry’s first Customer Experience Guide for employees. At the same time, a new, uncomplicated, step by step customer rental guide ‘Your Guide to a Smooth Journey’ has been launched for provision to every customer to ensure a simple, stress free hire experience.

The Customer Experience Guide is a new process to be adopted by all customer-facing employees across Europcar UK Group’s business, from those working at the 200 plus branches throughout the UK along to those dealing with telephone reservations and enquiries at Europcar’s contact centre. The aim is to create the best possible service to customers from the point of contact through to the end of the hire.

Catriona Lougher, Marketing Director for Europcar said: “Whilst high volume corporate customers have always enjoyed a good level of service from vehicle hire companies, it would be fair to say the leisure customer has not traditionally received the same focus of attention. For Europcar, this had to change. Leisure customers are a vital source of revenue and huge sales opportunity for our business, particularly in the current economic downturn as people look for alternatives to car ownership.

“We therefore looked at each aspect of the customer journey in line with extensive customer research undertaken early in 2009 then reviewed all aspects of the customer experience to create a more cohesive approach to service for both business and leisure customers. The guide maps out the different steps of the car hire experience, what customers want at each interaction and the key customer facing operational standards to be delivered.

“We have also developed key fobs for each customer-facing member of staff with the 6 golden rules for good customer service. Arranging vehicle hire for a customer can be high pressured and at times complicated with different options the customer may wish to consider. The key fobs will help staff keep the golden rules front of mind, ensuring they understood how to deliver great customer service and to gain some consistency across the business.”

At the same time Europcar is making vehicle hire easier for customers with a new step by step car and van hire guide. ‘Your Guide to a Smooth Journey’ offers all the key information customers need to make their hire experience enjoyable – from what to do before setting off to improving fuel economy, keeping the kids happy in the car as well as the useful telephone numbers customers may need.

Catriona Lougher concludes: “By providing customers with the consistency and clarity they demand, these initiatives will pay dividends for the business enabling Europcar to develop the products, service and experience that deliver differentiation, preference and loyalty. We’ve already launched a range of new products this year that are setting us apart from the competition, from free delivery and collection to one way airport rentals, now we’re really demonstrating our commitment to be the first choice for car and van hire for consumers and businesses across the UK.”

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