In the latest of these interventions, Woodford has also begun executing a long-term strategy to incorporate hospitality practices into vehicle rental.
Feeling is everything
Visitors to Woodford locations would have noticed something different when stepping into Woodford’s new branches. Apart from having been revamped, the spaces have a different ‘feel’ – and it’s all been driven by what the company has learned from the hospitality industry.
Hospitality is usually associated with the provision of services to guests, related mostly to food and drink or accommodation. Players in the industry aspire to reach a certain standard in this service, with many restaurants and hotel chains able to set benchmarks based on the experience that the guest enjoys. They work hard at not just providing a meal or room, but by engaging beyond that.
Having someone greet you warmly and help you to your table or room isn’t what the service offers at face value, but it certainly is one of the factors that the experience relies on.
“We understand that feeling is everything,” says Essa Ebrahim Suleman, MD of the Woodford Group. “As a result, we’ve thought about the entire rental experience and found ways to make the customers feel more like guests.”
“We want car rental to feel good and contribute to the journey the customer is on.”
Renting a car is often seen as a transactional chore – something that simply must be done to get from one point to another. Woodford instead is pioneering an approach that considers the possibility of making the journey – however long or short – enjoyable and memorable.
Locations that feel great
The updated layout and design of branches has allowed the spaces to present more like hotel lobbies than car hire locations, with a modern, clean, and stylish aesthetic that is all about the atmosphere.
In addition, new branch locations have been chosen with the convenience of travellers in mind. Like hotels and restaurants, branches are where people are and want to be.
In-branch perks also include lounges and kids’ play areas, along with speedlines and mobile kiosks to get business going when needed.
People that make you feel great
Woodford has grown to understand that exceptional service is the cornerstone of a great experience. Through intensive training and continuous development programmes, the staff at Woodford Car Hire – from cleaners to front-desk personnel – are taught to assist wherever possible. From warm welcomes to guidance on vehicles and routes, to smooth pick-ups and drop-offs, everyone has a common goal in mind – do everything you can to make the customer feel great.
Knowing the guest
Woodford Car Hire has also introduced a level of personalisation to its ‘guest’ through tailored experiences and communication. From WhatsApp reminders to an online check-in, travellers can feel prepared and understood, so that Woodford can match and surpass each person’s expectations.
As Woodford aims to elevate the experience for its customers, it will continue to add more ‘hospitality’ layers to its offering.
“We always say we love it when our customers love us, but to do that, we need to see people as more than customers,” says Mr. Suleman. “Just like you would at a stylish hotel or an elegant restaurant, we want Woodford to be the setting and the means for a memorable journey and adventure on the road.”
As Woodford offers customers more from vehicle rental, “Better, Every Day” continues to be the guiding principle that commits Woodford to providing customers with an improved experience.
Discover how Woodford can be better for you by booking your next rental with them: www.woodford.co.za.