Did you ever gone through a situation where you kept thinking “What’s the problem with those people?” That’s what happened to me this weekend.
I was looking for a car to rent with a little bit of emergency because I had a meeting to attempt and I could not borrow my friends’ car, so I started looking for options online and, I saw a very interested company called AutoEurope, they show prices for all kinds of rental companies. I thought it would be a good idea, so I proceed to check out and made the reservation paying €13,56, knowing that I would have to go pick up the car with my Credit Card so they could block €1.400,00 (ONE THOUSAND AND FOUR HUNDRED EUROS for one day with a Renault Clio). It was only after an hour or so that I realized that my Credit Card it was already with a specific amount blocked so it would not be able to do it there and I called the Customer Service to cancel the reservation, so the lovely lady told me that they could not give my €13,56 back because I should have told them 48 hours before the reservation. That’s right I booked Saturday to use the car on the same day, but the “correct” thing according to the corporate bureaucracy should have had to cancel it on Thursday. ;D
With this experience I realized how many companies out there, specially Startups and Online SMEs that love to say how amazing they are and how much love and support they give for their clients, but at the time of understanding the clients problems and giving back just €13,56, or at least offer a solution for the client, they choose to be selfish and money-driven companies. One of the reasons Zappos became this huge success is because they truly care about their customers, and the Customer Service team play a very important role in that.
The big thing here is not about €13,56. It’s about truly understanding the customers’ problems and offering solutions to those. The “lovely” girl who talked to me on the phone said, “But you should read our terms and conditions, all the information you need is there.” And really, WHO READS ALL THE FUCKING SMALL LETTERS IN A, I DON`T KNOW HOW MANY PAGES OF, TERMS AND CONDITIONS??
I kept thinking about some things about this experience…
First, what’s the bureaucracy behind those payment systems? I didn’t care about receiving my money back in 2, 3, 4 or even 5 days after but I don’t understand why I cannot have my €13,56 back. Especially if I not going to use the service.
Second, if you have corporate bullshit about not giving back the money if I don’t do it 48 hours before, for people who are renting a car for the same day, at least a pop-up warning would have helped me a lot to understand that and reminding me to check all my info and credit card information, and not putting the information into the small letters of terms and conditions that ANYONE reads.
Third, AutoEurope, you guys should be creating a company culture that gives support and freedom for your Customer Service agents to help your clients in all the possible ways and not just made them repeat the rules of the Terms and Conditions. In the end, they are not robots and giving them the freedom to understand customers problems and offer out of the box solutions will definitely put you guys in a whole new level of doing business.
And last but not least, please think about a long-term relationship with your clients because it’s the only way you’ll keep doing business in the years to come, things are changing and we are living in a new world where businesses should be doing something more than just selling you stuff.
Hope this outburst make people think a little bit more in the long-term success rather the short-term profit of €13,56.