In the past few years, the car rental industry has flourished. This has been driven by increased consumer demand and technological innovations that have enabled better customer service. As a result, rental companies have turned proactive and responsive to consumer needs, creating a stronger bottom line.
1. Remote Damage Assessment (RDA)
The car rental industry has a high risk of vehicle damage and loss, which is why rental companies need to decide between replacing the vehicle or repairing it. If the damage is minimal, it makes sense to repair the damage and save costs.
However, when the damage is severe, or the vehicle is beyond salvage, it makes more sense to replace it. Rental companies are usually unsure about the extent of the damage, making it a challenge to decide whether to buy a new vehicle or repair the existing one.
Cameras mounted on the vehicles can record the extent of the damage and can be used to assess the cost of repairs. These images are then transmitted to a remote location where a team of experts will assess the damage and advise whether the vehicle should be repaired or replaced. This process is also known as Remote Damage Assessment (RDA).
2. Remote Drop-Offs
Car rental customers can now drop off a vehicle without having to visit a branch in person. They use their car rental company's smartphone application to request a drop-off. This enables the rental company to have drop-off vehicles at remote locations with little to no managers and staff. This also helps the rental company save on staff and overheads.
3. Machine Learning-Based Clean-Up Policy
Modern car rentals are becoming increasingly customised, which has caused a significant increase in the handling of individual reservations.
For example, customers who book a car online tend to be better informed and more likely to detail the vehicle's interior before and after the rental period. Most rental companies use the 'clean-up fee' to cover the cost of cleaning up a car after a customer has returned the vehicle. But this cleaning fee can be a source of friction between the customer and rental company and can even result in a dispute.
Machine learning algorithms can help rental companies set the 'clean-up fee' based on the vehicle's condition after a customer returns it. This can reduce disputes, improve customer satisfaction, and save the company money that otherwise would be spent on unnecessary cleaning.
4. Real-Time Pricing
As a part of the big data revolution, a lot of information is already being used to predict market trends, drive innovation and optimise costs. For instance, real-time pricing takes advantage of real-time information and dynamically adjusts prices as the demand for a particular product changes.
This also makes selling a product at the maximum price customers are willing to pay. Customers using a real-time pricing system typically pay 20 per cent more than those using the regular price scheme. This is because the rental company can charge customers whatever the market demands a particular product at a specific time.
As technology continues to evolve, it will help enable the car rental industry to provide fantastic customer service, which will lead to higher profits. Car rental companies can widely adopt the four aforementioned technological solutions to improve their bottom line and increase profitability.
From our original focus on contract valeting for the UK motor industry, Secure Group has evolved over the last 20 years and now provides valeting, driving, inspection and progress-chaser portal with imaging, HD video and digital backdrops from our Auto Imaging division. If you need rental valeting services in Cambridgeshire, get in touch with us! Call us at 01480 216 700 now.