Renting a car at the airport has, for many, become an unpleasant experience. After a long day (or night) of navigating airports and flight delays, the weary traveler must trudge or take a bus to a rental counter, wait in a line, and finally be greeted with a selection of choices: which type of car, what insurance options, prepaid fuel or refill on the way back to the airport, which navigation aids, and so on. Frequent travelers can make this process less burdensome by selecting choices in advance, but the likelihood that a chosen car model will be unavailable is still high.
Although car-sharing services, such as Zipcar, and chauffeur services, such as Lyft and Uber, have used Internet technologies as a key element from their beginnings, most car rental companies have made limited use of those technologies as an add-on to their core airport-based operations. In 2012, the launch of Silvercar airport rental cars was intended to change that. From its original operation in Austin, Silvercar had grown to 10 airport locations by 2015 with plans to add a new location every few months. Billing itself as the “first hassle-free car rental company,” Silvercar designed its workflow to minimize the time customers would spend dealing with the airport car rental experience.
Silvercar customers must download the company’s mobile app to their phones or tablet devices to make a reservation. The reservation includes insurance options, but there is no need to select a car type or option since all Silvercar vehicles are identically equipped Audi A4 sedans that are painted silver, of course. Once they arrive at the airport, customers receive a text that directs them to either pick up their car at the curb, delivered by a Silvercar employee, or to a nearby lot. The app includes a scan code that unlocks the car. The app reminds the customer when it is time to return the vehicle and provides directions through the app and on the car’s built-in GPS system. If the customer is unable to return the car with a full fuel tank, Silvercar will fill it at the prevailing local price plus a $5 refueling charge.
The company has established rental rates that are competitive in each location with other companies’ rates for midsize sedans. The rentals include additional drivers and roadside assistance. The equipment included with each car includes GPS, Wi-Fi, satellite radio, and a toll-tracking system that charges the customer automatically for the exact amount of tolls incurred (most rental car companies charge a daily rental fee for a toll transponder in addition to the toll amounts).
Your assignment this week is to assume you are the Customer Experience Manager at an established rental car company and have been asked to prepare a report to your Board of Directors that summarizes the competitive threats presented to your business by Silvercar’s and outline specific actions you believe your company can take to reduce those threats. Many rental car companies in the past have promoted their services by highlighting the helpfulness and friendliness of their employees, assess the role and importance of employee characteristics such as helpfulness in Silvercar’s business process design. In your report, include your recommendations of the website technologies that you think your company should offer to create an engaging, user-friendly, and efficient customer experience.
The following requirements must be met:
· Write between 1,000 – 1,500 words using Microsoft Word in APA style.
· Use an appropriate number of references to support your position, and defend your arguments. The following are examples of primary and secondary sources that may be used, and non-credible and opinion based sources that may not be used.
o Primary sources such as government websites (United States Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Census Bureau, The World Bank), peer reviewed and scholarly journals in EBSCOhost (Grantham University Online Library) and Google Scholar.
o Secondary and credible sources such as CNN Money, The Wall Street Journal, trade journals, and publications in EBSCOhost (Grantham University Online Library).
o Non-credible and opinion based sources such as, Wikis, Yahoo Answers, eHow, blogs, etc. should not be used.
· Cite all reference material (data, dates, graphs, quotes, paraphrased statements, information, etc.) in the paper and list each source on a reference page using APA style. APA resources and a template are provided in the Supplemental Materials folder.