Something happened to me on a trip last week that blew me away. Maybe because I have low expectations from travel service providers, or because I’m just bored with the “getting from A to B” process. But I was stopped in my tracks with WORLD CLASS SERVICE at an airport.

I always use the same brands – United or BA, Hilton or Marriott, Avis or National – to ensure quick service and no surprises. They have all my info, and I know the routine. But last week, with trepidation, I rented a car from Enterprise. I couldn’t justify the gouging that my preferred vendors were offering (3X the price of Enterprise), so I took a deep breath and made the booking.

The first surprise, pleasant enough, was when I picked up at Las Vegas airport. The agent lead me out to the parking lot, showed me several cars I could choose from, and was delightfully friendly throughout the – very quick – process. Better than Avis choosing the car for me, friendlier than National’s “pick a car, any car” approach. Good, but not amazing.

Amazing was when I returned the car to Phoenix. I hopped out of the car, had a brief discussion with the agent who’s printing out my receipt….and when I turned around another agent had taken my bags out of the trunk and placed them on a luggage cart. WOW!

Seems like Avis is no longer “trying harder”!

OK, as I write this now, I realize how sad my standard travel experience has become, if this has Wow’d me! But the fact remains – sometimes brand loyalty, and pursuit of the “safe and easy” option will lead to an uninspired experience.

 

Through this one simple experience, Enterprise now has a good shot at gaining my loyalty away from Avis/National.

What could your company be doing that would blow away expectations?

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