The car fiasco

An American couple booked a Dacia Duster online and are at the airport to pick up the car. After going through the details of the rental with the employee, the couple locates the car right outside. They drive off but soon discover a warning light on the dashboard. They continue to drive but the engine is not working properly so they turn around. When they return to the rental car company, they ask for a new car so that they can continue their journey. The employee realizes that there is no manager on site and no other car available in this class.

The questions

  • What should the employee do in this situation?
  • What is the best solution to this incident?
  • How could this have been prevented? What processes could have been in place to avoid an incident like this?
  • How can the employee exceed the customer's expectations and compensate them for this unfortunate incident?
  • How do you think the employee feels in this situation?

 

Situational case developed by Enterprised.

The missing ice scraper

An international business man flies from Reykjavík to Akureyri in the middle of winter and goes straight to the car rental booth upon landing. There, he asks an employee in a marked uniform how to get to his destination. The employee gives him a detailed description. The car is immaculate, fairly new and easy to locate. It is also easy to find your way around as the employee had said. However, after the meeting, when the business man wants to head back to the airport, the situation becomes more complicated. It had started to snow that day and it was freezing. When the man gets into the car, he cannot see out the windshield because it is frosty. It's getting dark and he looks for the scraper in the car. However, there is no scraper in the car and there is only an hour until his flight. The man manages to clear the wipers and lets the windshield washer fluid melt the ice on the windshield for a while before driving off. Since he is late, he drives off as soon as there is a small gap in the windshield to look out. At the airport, there is only a box to drop off the car key, so he cannot report his misfortunes or let know about the missing equipment.

The questions

  • How would you describe the person's experience of the car rental company?
  • How do you think the man feels about the car rental after this experience?
  • How could this have been prevented?
  • How much can these mistakes cost the company and / or the customer?

 

Situational case developed by Gerum betur.

Willingness to assist

An international tourist describes his experience in Iceland as follows: "We were very hungry and exhausted when we picked up the rental car at the airport. At first we didn't feel welcome because all the staff seemed busy with other things than welcoming guests and they were chatting away. However, the atmosphere changed in an instant when we were greeted kindly by a smiling employee who seemed to be the only one assisting customers. He asked us where we planned on going and immediately saw that it would be helpful for us to have a map and then explained how to get to our destination and gave us information about traffic delays, directions and the weather forecast. We asked the employee if there was a decent restaurant nearby. At first, he had no idea but then it dawned upon him. He told us about a nearby restaurant and offered to call for us and see if they had a table available. He walked us to the car, helped us load our luggage, carefully explained how the GPS worked, entered the address of the restaurant and pointed out which radio station was in English."

The questions

  • Why did the guests feel unwelcome when they entered?
  • How does it affect visitors when they feel that the staff is willing to assist them with anything?
  • Mention all the things that may have exceeded the expectations of the guests.
  • What effect does it have on workplace morale in the long run when the workload is divided unequally?

 

Situational case developed by Gerum betur.

Calming an angry customer

An angry guest enters the rental car. The front desk worker immediately pays him attention but gets a little nervous as his colleagues are right next door laughing at the latest idea for the staff trip. After the guest has voiced all of his anger, the employee invites him to come to the back to discuss the matter in privacy and find a solution to the issue. The employee offers the guest coffee and chocolate, which he accepts. The employee starts asking questions. He then repeats what he said and asks if he understand the guest correctly. The employee's attempt to calm the customer works perfectly, because they find a successful solution to the problem and by the end they are laughing together. Before the guest leaves, he apologizes for how agitated he was when he arrived.

The questions

  • What could have made the visitor so angry in the beginning?
  • Why was the guests invited to come to the back?
  • Why did it stress the employee that the co-workers were laughing?
  • What are the benefits of inviting the guest to the back?
  • Go through the story and identify what made the outcome a success.
  • What did the employee do that most affected the outcome of the case?
  • How have you managed to calm angry customers? Share experiences.

 

Situational case developed by Gerum betur.

The accident

An international tourist, driving a seven-seater rental car, has an accident and the car is undriveable. The car rental does not have any available seven-seater cars, at least not within the next 5-6 hours. The guest is anxious and angry and yells at the employee: "It's unacceptable, I try to get some kind of help from you and nothing happens!" The employee, with hunched shoulders and a clenched jaw, says in a calm, composed and sincere tone: "Am I right that you are unhappy about the fact that there is STILL no solution for your situation? I can imagine you are frustrated. I also sometimes get frustrated when solutions are not found immediately. There is no seven-seater car available right now, but I can offer you two smaller cars, if that would work for you." The guest yells: “There's only one driver.” The employee mockingly asks: “We just don't have a seven-seater car. There is little I can do for you. What do you want me to do?”

The questions

  • How could this problem have been solved?
  • What did the employee do well in this example? What could have gone better?
  • What aspects of the employee's behavior and choice of words could upset the guest?
  • What needs to be done if a customer has an accident?
  • How does a customer who has been in an accident feel?

 

Situational case developed by Gerum betur.

Respect for customers

A customer notices that her rental car (which is fairly recent) has a light on the dashboard that shouldn't be on. She notices that the light makes her anxious. She parks the car outside and goes to the reception to get help. The customer feels that she is not being taken seriously and gets a strong sense that the rental car employee is annoyed when she asks him to come out and look at the light. He says confidently that the car sensors are hypersensitive and probably it's just the tires being low on air. Then he walks around the car, kicks the tires and says: "The car is fine."

The questions

  • What does this case tell us about respectful communication?
  • How do you think the customer feels when she drives off?
  • What could have gone better in this story?
  • Retell the story and describe the way you would assist the customer.

 

Situational case developed by Gerum betur.

At your service

An international tourist goes to the car rental reception desk to pick up his car. The employee does not go over the rental agreement with her or when to return the car. However, he explains the insurance terms carefully. He also doesn't take the time to point out to her that she can get a better car for an additional fee or extra insurance. He shows her the existing damage to the car on a piece of paper, which he keeps, and says quickly: "There is damage here. If you see something more, let us know so we don't charge you for it. The car is a Volkswagen Polo, and it should have a full gas tank." Then he adds cheerfully: "You should be able to find the car." The tourist can't find the car despite the explanations and goes back inside feeling embarassed. The employee then looks at the keychain and tells her that the car is brown and that people usually don't have any problems finding the cars. He strolls off and the customer follows him. He hands her the keys as soon as he can point to the car which is about 20 meters away and wishes her a safe trip.

The questions

  • How many aspects can you list which could be improved with regard to the communication between the customer and the employee?
  • List the aspects that customers need to be informed about when picking up a rental car.
  • What could be the reason why the employee in this case did not go over all the necessary pick-up information?
  • How do you think the customer feels about the car rental company based on this interaction?
  • How do you see this story from the perspective of the employee on the one hand and the customer on the other?

 

Situational case developed by Gerum betur.

The manual rental car

An American tourist is picking up his rental car upon arrival in Keflavík, when he discovers that the car has a manual transmission. He is very upset with the car rental employee and says he ordered an automatic car because he can't drive a manual one. In addition, he was charged twice when he booked the car on the car rental website and had to call and send emails to get it corrected. The employee checks the system and sees that a manual car was booked and is not sure how this happened. It is possibly a registration error. The customer is very pushy and angry. The employee checks whether it is possible to get an automatic car in the cheaper categories, but it is not. He decides to offer the passenger a free upgrade.

The questions

  • Do you think the customer is satisfied with this solution?
  • What can be done in case the customer is not happy?
  • Name three things that could have been effective in calming down the customer.
  • What attitude does an employee need to have in order to deal with angry customers?
  • How do you think the employee felt in this situation?
  • How can colleagues and managers provide support when an employee deals with difficult situations?

 

Situational case developed by Gerum betur.

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