The launch of Avis Rent a Car’s new website service marks the next of many changes by the company to make booking a car more customer friendly. Its retail design and functionality is a first for the rental industry and reflects the familiarity of format that those who book and buy online expect.
Avis has simplified the language and tone of the site and information is presented clearly using the latest web building technology. The site is easy to navigate and offers a bespoke service for customers throughout Europe.
The site includes commands familiar on retail websites, but never before included on car rental sites form the basis of Avis’ new website. Customers can now register online, creating an account to store all personal and payment details securely, saving time when completing a booking. A rental can now be completed within 60 seconds*, fastest in the industry.
Other facilities include a multiple booking function, enabling customers to add rentals to a ‘shopping basket’ and complete bookings further in advance often giving access to the most competitive prices. Customers also have the option to search by town, postcode or even flight number to find the correct rental location, even with a spelling error a number of options will be offered to the closest match.
Avis’ new insurance guide is also available to view on the website. Transparency is key, customers can view exactly what they are covered for before completing the rental, eliminating any unexpected charges collecting a car. Information on Premier Cover, a new product launched to ensure customer pay a fair price when reducing insurance excess, dependent on the size of car rented, is also available online.
Choosing a car on the web has also been simplified by Avis. Gone are the days of A, B, C and D groups, when booking on the new Avis website customers can see at a glance what vehicles are offered by size - small, medium, large - which of those are available as automatic or manual, petrol or diesel, how many people they accommodate, the amount of luggage they can carry. Information is displayed online through images as well as text, vehicle descriptions are clearer and options, such as choosing a convertible or estate, can be added after initially choosing a car type.
Options are also now available to reserve extras including child seats and additional drivers online at the time of booking. Previously customers could only request such items when collecting their rental and, items were subject to availability at the time, now confirmation of extras will be available before travelling.
Avis Preferred, the company’s complimentary frequent renter scheme has also had an online makeover. Customers can now register for the service in minutes on the site, without the need to print and fax a form to Avis as before. Members benefit from a variety of services, with the ability to access their account online, store popular bookings and have the ability to make a reservation in less than 40 seconds*.
John Phipps, Director of Customer Contact Systems Development at Avis Europe has overseen the development and now the launch of the new website. Joining Avis from John Lewis Direct, where he was Head of Web Development for its award winning website, John has had extensive experience in online retailing. He comments on the changes within Avis, “I felt Avis could benefit from using traditional principles of online retailing applied to car rental. Due to the popularity of shopping for goods online, customers are familiar with a certain layout and I felt they would benefit from following a similar format when hiring their car.”
He continues, “Avis’ Inspired Change programme is about becoming even more customer focussed. Therefore we have reviewed all our customer touch points, with the aim of making the car rental process as quick and clear as possible. The website is one of the major points to experience this revamp.”
Inspired Change, Avis’ continuous programme of innovation and change, was launched in May 2006. As a result Avis continues to launch new initiatives and make improvements to existing schemes, further supporting its leadership role in the industry to improve the car rental experience.
*A booking by a customer who has previously created and account, using pre-stored payment details can be completed in under 60 seconds.