Car rental industry has traditionally required a tedious amount of paperwork for both customers and staff.
However, digital transformation is beginning to change that, making it easier and more convenient for staff and customers.
Here we’ll show how this transformation is taking place, and the role smart data capture technology is playing in making it happen.
- Self sign-up to rent a car.
- Instantly capturing the driver’s details from a driver’s license.
- Fast and easy inventory thanks to VIN or barcode scanning.
And all of this can be done on one of the many 1000s of smart device models that people use.
For example, precious time spent waiting at a facility, clutching various documents and waiting for paperwork is increasingly frustrating for consumers. People expect on-demand convenience from car rental companies as they would if they were using a smartphone to make a bank payment.
Now is the time for car and truck rental businesses to use technology to increase convenience and efficiency as a way to future-proof their business.
Here we show how this can be achieved.
The future is digital
A 2018 US car rental report by Phocuswright concluded that:
“In the past decade, car rental brands may have been too preoccupied with fending off new entrants to the space to invest as heavily in their mobile programs as they should have. This oversight left room for nimble car-sharing and ride-hailing companies to innovate and compete on technology and convenience, especially in the mobile channel,”
Industry disruptors like Uber, Lyft, Turo in the US and BlaBlaCar in Europe, have indeed taken advantage of the industry’s lapse in digital focus. Speeding up physical interactions is key to future-proofing their business against any similar situations.
The challenge for existing car rental companies is to match the mobility and flexibility of newer tech-smart, ride-hailing, and car-sharing services. And savvy companies are already embracing mobile technology to put customers firmly in the driving seat.
Statista forecasts that 69% of total revenue will be generated through online sales by 2024. To stay on the road, existing rental companies must find innovative and cost-efficient ways to digitally transform their businesses.
The road to better customer experience
Adapting existing processes through digitalization goes a long way to enhancing the customer experience and safety.
The everyday smartphone, empowered by smart data capture software, has a crucial part to play. Car and truck rental businesses can use it to streamline and automate workflows – all while increasing customer convenience.
This can be done either via a Scandit-powered enterprise app or, depending on data processing requirements, using our SDK for the Web. With the SDK for the Web, users can scan directly from any web or mobile browser with no need to download an app, making it a handy option for last minute or infrequent rental customers.
There are several ways companies can easily make use of this technology to delight customers and compete in an increasingly digital marketplace. Here are our top three:
1. Self-service pick-up and drop-off to help customers and staff
Manual car rental processes that take time and are naturally prone to errors, such as mistyping personal details, negatively influencing customer satisfaction.
Using Scandit’s scanning technology on everyday mobile devices, customers can simply scan their driving license or ID to confirm their identity while making a booking online. Done either using a company app or by following a link to the company’s webpage, customer data – personal details and vehicle registration – is captured through optical character recognition (OCR) automatically and more accurately.
It is also possible to use the customer’s smart device to access the vehicle without the need to visit a rental center. For example, once the customer has located the vehicle, they could scan the vehicle’s VIN number, or another element (e.g. driving license again), perform a contactless signature, and complete checkout – all without the need for company personnel to be present.
Scan quality is critical to get it right, first time, every time. Some US car and truck rental firms have reported only a 50% scan success rate on capturing driving license information, due to glare, shadow, or a blurry picture obscuring the barcode.
Scandit’s software ensures that high performance is assured whether a customer is scanning through a mobile app or a website. For example, VIN codes in particular can be located in awkward places and obscured by light glare.
Watch below to see Scandit’s barcode scanning in action.
In a world where convenience and safety are now paramount, offering a flexible and contactless way for rental customers to access and drop off vehicles is a must-have.
2. Simply support on the move
Automate support services and eliminate inconvenient ticketing systems with remote accessible line busting procedures.
The same technology used for scanning customer driving licenses during booking can be reliably used to speed up the process of customer data retrieval.
By using the company app on the user’s mobile or a website, customers can easily scan the front of their EU or UK driving license to capture the details contained in the text or the VIN (vehicle identification number) barcode present on the car.
The rental company can then quickly, and securely verify the user’s identity and access all their contract information. This is particularly useful to overcome any language barriers where customers are travelling abroad or are non-native speakers.
The same process also allows companies to quickly locate customer information if they call for any other customer service need, e.g. to log a claim.
3. Inventory management in car rental centers
Taking inventory can also be time-consuming, so make it easy for employees to streamline the process with smart devices.
Multiple barcode scanning with Scandit’s MatrixScan Count can instantly count car parts. This data can be used to create an inventory lists or cross-check against existing inventory lists before processing an order. Additionally, when replacing components, staff can scan parts and track them.
Talk to us about your digital transformation
These are just a few examples of where scanning-enabled mobile devices can help to automate and adapt car and van rental processes.