Renting a car online requires customers to go through many touchpoints, from the moment they decide to they need a car and begin searching, right through to when they return the car at the end of the rental.
At any point in the process there is the chance to lose customers by things which can broadly fall under the categories of poor design or errors.
No two customers have the same requirements, but whatever their needs, the online reservation process needs to make their experience as easy as possible. If we fail in that objective, potential customers are likely to leave your website and go elsewhere.
So getting it right with a well designed, user friendly, error free customer journey is essential. That means each part of the process needs to work as designed under all conditions, regardless of what type of customer they are, what their needs are, and whether they're using a desktop, tablet or smartphone to make their reservation.
From the search and selection of rental locations, pickup and return dates, vehicle selection, pricing and rate calculations, age restricted vehicles, ancillaries, insurances, offers and promotions, loyalty schemes, confirmation emails, etc., finding errors before your customers do is pretty important, right?
Have robust testing procedures in place is therefore critical, and those need to be carried out frequently, because car reservation systems are constantly being updated, and that comes with the risk of introducing errors.
Testing car rental websites may appear simple on the surface, but when you consider the different types of customers, their needs, where they're from, and where and when they intend to rent, things become a little more complex than a linear buying process.
Also take into account things like:
Besides these typical scenarios there could be an infinite number of variations in the customer journey, and without thorough testing it could leave your customers and yourselves vulnerable to errors, complaints, and worse.
This free car rental checklist could help you get some clarity, and it might even give you ideas of features and variations to factor into your existing reservation platform.
It’s free... no catches, no strings attached, and no small print, but feel free to reach out if you need help.
Some problems might exist only on mobile, some only on desktop, and some on both. Some errors might not be caused by the actual website or app, but could be related to problems with the
back end systems, such as availability or pricing issues, rate calculations, and many other things.
If your car rental platform is completely bespoke, you'll need a testing process as bespoke as your platform. But not all platforms are completely bespoke...
Some car rental websites are built on platforms by third party companies such as Carcloud, Linakis, Coastr, HQ Rental and Camasys and those will require a different approach. Their respective customer journeys are just part of the picture, but the way they communicate with other systems should also be taken into account and be tested.
In all cases we need to consider the needs of those customers who make up your target market. But what do we mean by
customer type and wouldn't it be far easier to handle all customers in the same way?
It would certainly be easier to treat all potential customers in the same way, but it would also be unwise.
guestcustomers, or your customer might be reserving a car as part of a package which is tied to a flight or hotel reservation.
So being able to identify customer types and tailor the reservation flow based on their specific needs is important, and using
Full time resources can be costly, and depending on the nature of your business, they might not be required all the time. That can make dedicated testing resources less cost effective than other options.
What's more, many in-house resources tend to work office hours, and might neither be available or committed to work at unsociable hours and at weekends.
Experienced outsourced testers...
Outsourcing certainly has its advantages, but it's understandable that you could be concerned about confidential information being shared between companies who use the same external resource.
Trust and discretion are paramount, so let me assure you that:
With more than 20 years developing, managing and testing global car rental websites for Hertz International, I am highly experienced in testing every aspect of car rental websites, whether it be on core reservation platforms, car rental mobile apps, third party platforms and broker websites, or as part of airline booking paths.
If a bug makes it to the customer, it's either because the quality team missed it, or you didn't have anyone test it. So whether you have a one off need for testing, or need ongoing testing and collaboration for new sections or features being added to your website, get in touch.
All work is undertaken in the strictest confidence, and NDAs are welcome.
Read the full review and more of my personal reviews and testimonials and feel free to get in touch if you think I can help.