Yesterday, as I picked up my rental car from Enterprise Rent-A-Car Rental at the New Jersey airport, I was genuinely impressed by the efficiency and excellence of their service systems. It left such an impression on me that I felt compelled to share this experience. Now, you might be wondering, “What does a big corporation like Enterprise Rent-A-Car have in common with my small business?”
Founder Jack C. Taylor’s journey offers valuable lessons for all of us. Just like many of you, he began as a small business owner. Back in 1957, Jack Taylor embarked on his entrepreneurial journey armed with nothing but an idea. Today, that idea has transformed into Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the largest car rental company in the United States, boasting a vast network of over 9,000 locations.
My Experience with Enterprise Rent A Car
My remarkable service experience began even before I left for Jersey. As a solo traveler to an unfamiliar U.S. city and airport, the daunting task of renting a car loomed. My choice was clear when I saw Enterprise’s impressive 4.4 out of 5 rating, the highest at that location, among a dozen other options.
Following the straightforward directions provided, I easily located Enterprise’s pickup spot. There, I encountered a swift, two-step check-in process that radiated warmth and reassurance. The team wasted no time in ensuring I had everything I needed. When I inquired about a GPS, they recommended a car with Apple CarPlay for seamless phone integration—no problem.
Taking it a step further, I casually asked if they happened to have a Toyota RAV4, the same model I drive back home. Two enthusiastic team members Nicole and Nick sprang into action, scouring the entire lot to find me the exact car I desired. Their genuine excitement was real, and as I drove away confidently in my RAV4, I was so touched by their dedication that I wanted to hug them!
Being a curious researcher and a systems thinker, I couldn’t resist the urge to explore the history of Enterprise. Let me share what I consider to be the ten service systems that have truly made purchasing from this business an outstanding experience
Customer-Centric Service Systems:
When I dropped off the car, the lot agent Benito had a big smile on his face and graciously unloaded my bags and made sure I had everything out of the car! A perfect example of how Enterprise deeply ingrains its commitment to customer-centric service systems in its operational DNA.
Every step of the process, from making a reservation to returning the vehicle, meticulously prioritizes customer satisfaction. Service systems are crafted to accommodate customer needs, preferences, and requests, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable rental experience
Training and Development Service Systems:
Enterprise Rent-A-Car demonstrates its commitment to training and development through its rigorous employee training programs. These programs not only provide employees with essential skills but also nurture a culture of continuous learning. This ongoing education and skill enhancement contribute to the cultivation of service excellence.
Promotion and Career Development Service Systems:
Enterprise’s service systems prioritize internal promotions and career development. The company identifies and nurtures talent from within, offering structured pathways for career progression. This approach motivates employees to excel in their roles, knowing that their dedication and commitment can lead to advancement within the organization.
Supportive Service Systems:
Enterprise’s service systems actively encourage support among employees. A supportive work environment is fostered, where team members assist each other to ensure tasks are completed efficiently. This support network enhances productivity and promotes a sense of camaraderie among employees.
Diversity and Inclusion Service Systems:
Enterprise’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is integrated into its service systems. The company values a diverse workforce for the unique perspectives and ideas it brings. Service systems reflect this commitment by implementing inclusive hiring practices and promoting an environment where all employees feel valued and included.
Collaborative Service Systems:
Enterprise’s service systems thrive on a culture of collaboration. Teams from various departments work together seamlessly to meet customer needs, whether it’s coordinating vehicle maintenance or assisting with reservations. This streamlined flow of information and tasks promotes synergy among employees. I witnessed that with Nicole and Nick working together to find the Rav4 I had requested.
Recognition and Reward Service Systems:
Enterprise’s service systems include recognition and rewards that encourage teamwork and exceptional performance. Employees are acknowledged through programs, bonuses, and career opportunities, motivating them to consistently provide outstanding service.
Cultural Service Systems:
Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s company culture and values strongly influence their service systems. Teamwork and customer-focus guide every service interaction, uniting employees across the organization to deliver top-notch service. I experienced this firsthand when two lot team members worked together to find my Rav4.
Adaptive Service Systems:
Enterprise adapts quickly to changing customer needs and market trends. They regularly review and adjust their services to stay competitive and relevant.
Community Engagement Service Systems:
Enterprise includes community engagement in its services. They actively participate in community initiatives and support, making it part of their commitment to service. This approach enhances the company’s reputation and builds better relationships with local communities.
As small business owners, we can draw several valuable lessons from Enterprise’s service systems:
#1 – Prioritize customer satisfaction and build service systems with the customer at the center.
#2 – Foster collaboration among team members to ensure seamless operations and enhance customer experiences.
#3 – Invest in training and development to create a skilled and motivated workforce.
#4- Consider promoting from within and offer opportunities for career growth to motivate and retain talent.
#5 – Cultivate a supportive work environment where employees readily assist each other.
#6 – Embrace diversity and inclusion to foster innovation and a broader perspective.
#7 – Implement recognition and reward systems to motivate and retain high-performing employees.
#8 – Develop a strong company culture and core values that align with your service goals.
#9 – Stay adaptable and responsive to changing market dynamics and customer preferences.
#10- Engage with your local community to build a positive reputation and lasting relationships beyond business transactions.
You can read more about how to create great service systems in my new book “Small Business Big Opportunity, Systematize Your Small Business, Create Personal Freedom and Live the Entrepreneurial Dream” available now on Amazon. Start by reviewing your own customer service standards. From there you can build your service systems, one great system at a time.
What do you want YOUR customers to say and write about you? (Thanks again Nicole and Nick from Enterprise New Jersey!)