03 June 2012

How to lose a customer

Yesterday, a leading international car rental agency rolled out a new customer loyalty program which links a customer to an advanced profile. So, the next time you reserve a car, all of the standard information questions are already answered. You only have to go to the rental lot to retrieve your car – your credit card, drivers license, vehicle preference, etc. are all in your profile.

I received an email announcement requesting me to complete my profile from a special web site. As you can imagine, there are a lot of questions so the web form takes about 10 minutes to fill out correctly.

When I finally finished and hit the "Enroll Now" button on the last page, I get the following message:

"We´re Sorry...  XXX.com has not properly responded to your request.
You can use your browser´s back button and resubmit your request now. In many cases, this second attempt will be executed fully. You can try again in a few minutes. If the problem persists, please contact XXX and provide PROBLEM CODE."
image of computer error and irated customerOf course, there is no "problem code" given. And after many, repeated attempts to enroll, I finally gave up.  Do they really want my business?

From a VOC perspective, let's analyze some customer needs.

For the rent-a-car: I want a car that meets my driving purpose. I want to get started on my travel as soon as possible. I want to know my rental charges before I rent.

For the website: I want my personal data to be secure. I want to enter data only one time. I want to complete the enrollment quickly.

It seems to me the customer profile intended to address the rent-a-car needs does quite well by allowing me to store my preferences and required data in advance. But, in attempting to collect that information, the web enrollment process failed completely. Such disconnect between the Marketing campaign and IT performance seems to happen more frequently these days. Previously I discussed a similar IT delivery issue in "QFD requires end-to-end including customer support".

As for this car rental agency, if the company cannot create my profile, then I doubt my rental needs for car selection and speed will not be met. So, I will probably choose another rent-a-car company next time.

Do you have a similar experience? Please share it with us, and include some VOC analysis of your own.


  1. You can done your work efficiently for customer but customer condition are not complete at that time so we can lose a customer ...

    1. If you've lost a customer because the "customer conditions were not complete at that time," then you did not do a good job with your groundwork, be it market or VOC analysis or business process development.

      Blaming the customer is a sure way to lose future business.

  2. Comfortableness behavior is one man reason to lose your customer.


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