Customer experience is formed by many factors and recreational rental business is no different. In the rental context, it is essential to see the rental as a part of the whole experience.
Businesses that focus solely on rentals, improving the rental experience is the most important and effective way to improve the customer experience. For holiday resorts, improving the rental experience is a part of a more complex entity, meaning it is important to pay attention also to the relations between rental experience and other experiences.
Attributes forming the rental experience
Rentals can be seen as an entity formed by several attributes. The attributes may vary slightly from case to case but in general, in recreational rentals, the customer experience is based on quite similar factors.
Service quality is a fundamental attribute of good customer experience, regardless of the industry. The easiest way to improve the service quality is to add more resources to customer service. When human resources are released from manual processes such as inventory management or the paper contract hassle, the quality of customer service improves automatically on the side.
The quality, condition, and fit of the equipment for each customer are essential attributes behind a successful rental experience. Bad quality or fit of the equipment can easily ruin the whole experience, what the rental was initially trying to create. On the other hand, a positive perception of the equipment can light up a spark in some customers and positively affect customer loyalty.
By knowing your customers you can provide more personalized service for them. Customers always have individual goals and expectations. For instance, the needs of an inexperienced and experienced customer differ a lot from each other, meaning that it is logical to offer them products and services answering their specific needs. Nothing engages customers better than the feeling of achieving. This feeling can depend on the service provider’s capability to recognize and support the individual goals and expectations of customers.
Whether we talk about making an online booking or in-store transaction, it is essential that the process is easy and effortless for the customer. The instructions must be clear and actions logical. Recognizing the individual customer preferences are related to the easiness as well as bringing all the other necessary functions, like ticket sales, together with the equipment rental. The easiness doesn’t only improve the rental experience but also releases the human resources of the rental shop as customers are more capable to cope without personal service (note: personalized service is different concept and it is still important).
Fluency goes hand in hand with the easiness. The more fluent the process in the rental shop is from the customer’s point of view the faster she is ready for the activities and hence the better the experience will be. No one likes queuing or being bounced around between several service desks. The fluent rental shop processes will also lead to faster and more efficient customer service.
Flexibility, for instance in the duration of the rental is an easy way to create a positive customer experience. From the rental shop’s point of view, flexible rental terms are possible when there is real-time knowledge about the upcoming rentals and reservation status, dynamic contract, and a possibility to charge credit card after the initial payment without the customer having to visit the rental shop physically.
The use guidance of the rented equipment is one of the most important phases of successful rental experience. The customer must be able to use the equipment fluently also independently. Besides the equipment guidance, every tip about the nearby activity possibilities, like for instance beautiful landscapes along certain biking route or nice resting place or café, are great ways to improve the customer experience. As an additional service, it is possible to sell guided tours or personal teaching, so guidance is also a good chance for upselling.
Freedom of stress
The last thing one wants to experience on her day off is stress. The freedom of stress is a result of doing all the things before, during, and after the rental well. Clear instructions, transparent information, fluent processes, trustworthy payment methods, and commonly agreed on rules, for instance in the form of a rental contract, are all parts of a stress-free rental experience.
Additional services, which support the wished resolution of the experience can eventually be the cherry on top of the rental experience.