“We Try Harder!” Does it ring a bell. Care to take a guess at who’s slogan it is? Slogans and brands are only as good as the actions behind them.
BigE went to Palm Springs for a week at the end of January. I was in the UK on business, so she flew by herself with our girls Kenna and Elle. That is two under 3. For those of you who have yet to travel the child path, I’ll translate. That is two children under 3 years old. Which means she is flying with two car seats, a pack and play, a stroller, 2 suitcases, and a diaper bag. This does not account for the “human” baggage which can either stroll itself or must be carried all depending upon mood, bottle, and length of time since last nap.
Big E booked a sweet rental car deal from Avis. When she reached the rental car counter, with kids in tow, and after a lengthy check in process she is told she was at the wrong Avis. Wrong Avis? Hmmm. Is that like ordering a Big Mac and being told your are at the wrong McDonald’s. Big E says, OK that is fine, I’ll just rent from you.
No Problem Mrs. Big E, that will be $350.00. She booked it online for $150.00. Big E is NOT paying 350 bones, when she has one reserved (with Avis) for $150. Their response, you booked your car from a different Avis, you will need to go to them to honor that deal. That Avis is 3 miles down the street. We can call them and see if they can come pick you up.
Frustrated, Big E carries the two car seats, the two pieces of luggage, the “human” baggage, because she is now getting cranky, to the curb sits and waits for the “other” Avis. After 20 minutes on the curb with two toddlers and all her luggage the seems start to crack. So what now, you guessed it. My phone rings in the UK.
Upon hearing the story, I call the Avis manager and get the same story line. “Your wife booked with a different Avis. We cant offer that rate. She is more than willing to rent from this Avis, however the rate will be higher. We did call the other Avis for her and they should be here shortly.” I questioned the manager, why she didn’t see anything wrong with putting a woman, her two kids, and their luggage for a week on the curb waiting for “another” Avis. It clicked and she offered to drive my wife and kids to the other Avis. Thank you!
Customers see one Avis. We don’t care about franchises, or independently owned and operated. Customers do business with the brand, not the owner.
Avis, “We Try Harder” could have offered to drive her to the other Avis right away. “We Try Harder” could have honored the $150.00 rate and then written off the difference their location quoted. “We Try Harder” could have done a number of things besides put a customer on the curb with her luggage and two kids.
When process, rules, and procedures get in the way your brand suffers. Spending 100’s of millions of dollars on an advertising and brand campaign without having the processes and procedures at the branches to support it is wasting money.
How about spending the 100’s of millions on process improvement, and customer oriented programs and let your customers tell their friends how “You Try Harder”. Avis, your actions speak so loud, I can’t hear what you’re saying!