Car rentals digital strategy challenges

The new Sharebox S18 cabinet in operation. - We experience high interest for contact free customer service, says Arne Eivind Andersen, CEO of Sharebox.

The biggest roadblock to “business as usual” in this COVID-19 period is social distancing, as many of the businesses around the world are still based on face-to-face interactions across the counter or outlet based transactions, which is why digital transformation for car rentals is required.

So, how can a digital machine automate car rental operations? Is it possible to self-service car rental operations? And is tech available today that´s scalable, easy to use and multi-integrated with bookings?

Mobile self-collection

The car rental industry has adapted more slowly to new and digital customer-experience realities than other sectors. A good example for the current disconnect between what customers expect and what they get to experience is booking: rather than a proactive, routine, and seamless experience with benefits such as self service check-in, the car rental experience is often a hassle involving a serious time commitment that is difficult to plan.

- We do believe the concept of “self-unlocking,” will play a huge role in the car rental industry going forward. Everyone is searching for critical digital systems where a customer can book a car and sign a rental agreement on their mobile phone. Customers need the ability to locate their assigned car, pick up the key, and drive away, says Arne Eivind Andersen, CEO of Sharebox.

Customers don´t want to wonder when their vehicle is ready for pickup. They receives automatic updates on her smartphone, along with mobility options to get to the car rental pickup points on airports or downtown.

Sixt fast track success

In Norway Sixt has come a long way creating a digital strategy prioritizing “mobile as first point of sale” and display it with due prominence on the website as well as in the marketing campaigns. Sixt fast track makes it possible for customers to order, collect and deliver a rental car, without being in direct contact with the company's employees.

Customers book a car via the website and go directly to Sixts car delivery when arriving at the airport or city. Using a code received on mobile, access car keys from a fully automated Sharebox.

The Norwegian branch of Sixt offer fast track service on 25 Norwegian airports and major cities. In the Sixt setup Sharebox are integrated with mobile phone controlled lockers that remove any complexity, overcoming significant technical barriers. A considerable favorable setup to complete transformation of manual check-ins with a self-service customer model.

The Agile Solutions platform keep track of the rental contract, report damages, check vehicle status, check-in information, cleaning process and has been fully integrated with the automated lockers from Sharebox. This enables the customer to pick up keys on the go without visiting a rental counter. Completing the rental forms and payment for the rental are done through the customers mobile phone from a link sent by SMS to the customer from the rental system.