Long Lines; Long Waits – Does It Need to Be That Way?

Filed in Blog, Customer Service, Hospitality by on March 6, 2013
Long Lines; Long Waits – Does It Need to Be That Way?

My wife and I had taken a vacation to Florida and sometimes she makes the reservations and other times I do. Although I’m a member of both National and Hertz, she had told me that Budget had the lowest rates. I said fine. Who doesn’t want to save a few dollars?

When we arrived at the Fort Lauderdale rental car area, the only company that had a long line was Budget. Every other carrier had 2 or 3 people waiting in queue. My first thought was, “Hey, the low rates must be working.”  My second thought was, “How long do we need to wait?”

After about 5 minutes, we realized that although there were 40 plus people on line, there were only 3 or 4 agents on duty. Everyone waiting started saying things like ‘this is ridiculous’, ‘I heard people have been waiting an hour’, etc.

Patience is not one of my strongest virtues and I was eager to start my vacation. I left my wife on line and approached the Hertz counter where there was a line of 2 or 3 people. The rates I received were even lower than what Budget had quoted my wife. I called my wife to join me and we were quickly on our way to our hotel.

My last thoughts were…Budget has a reservation system, they have been in business for decades, they know when people are scheduled to pick up their cars…why would they not have their counters staffed appropriately?

Obviously, Budget will no longer be our first car rental choice. But, it didn’t have to be that way.

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About the Author ()

Richard R. Shapiro is Founder and President of The Center For Client Retention (TCFCR) and a leading authority in the area of customer satisfaction and loyalty. For 28 years, Richard has spearheaded the research conducted with thousands of customers from Fortune 100 and 500 companies amassing the ingredients of customer loyalty and what drives repeat business. His first book was The Welcomer Edge: Unlocking the Secrets to Repeat Business and The Endangered Customer: 8 Steps to Guarantee Repeat Business, was released in February, 2016.

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