Looks like the pandemic doesn’t want to let go and will stay with us well into 2022. What’s positive is that the car rental industry has had plenty of time to get used to the various restrictions and find ways to protect our employees, customers, and families. Although cautious, we remain curious and eager to travel.
With air travel, there are not many choices – we have to go through crowded airports and be surrounded by other people for hours. Access to private jets is limited and expensive. But the cars? Cars are different. They allow us to freely choose our destinations and our travel companions within the limits of the budgets we can afford. So if someone is planning to go abroad and rent a car in a vacation destination, how do they do it most efficiently and safely?
Short answer: by opting for contactless car rental. Let’s break down what that means exactly.
Contactless services started with contactless payments. It’s hard to imagine going back to cash-only payment or swiping a card for every Starbucks coffee, isn’t it? Our modern lifestyles demand instant solutions. That’s why we can now pay with our smartphones and watches. The convenience proven by the use of modern technologies has also brought quick and contactless ideas to other areas of life. Food and online orders are left behind our doors. Self-service collection points are springing up like mushrooms. We rarely meet couriers face to face. Grandparents are fluent in Zoom. Significant life events happen online. Contactless is our new reality.
Booking a car online is easy. Customers simply go to your rental site, select a vehicle, and ta-da! Recovering your car, on the other hand, is more complicated. So how do you do this contactless?
By choosing a company that has it all figured out. (Psst, they exist!)
Annemari Muru, CEO of Liigu, says, “We started Liigu because we saw that convenience technology makes it possible in most areas of life to be indispensable in the area of car use. We like to call ourselves the coolest app-based mobility service. We see mobility becoming an experience in itself. With us, customers get a technologically advanced experience with just a touch of the screen. While everything is indeed technology-driven, we keep our customer service entirely human. We want our customers to feel taken care of, especially since they are not meeting anyone in person. Yes, AI is very trendy but it is said that AI (emotional intelligence) is our AI. We strive for perfection in technology, but once there’s a problem to solve, there’s a real person helping the customer. No automatic replies or chat-bots!
Real life contactless car pickup is actually very easy. For the tenant, it is as if his own car is waiting at the airport. All you need is a smartphone, which acts as a car key, a tool to check documents, add extras and pay for the rental. It is a map and a guide that helps them find the exact parking spot where the car is. On top of that, it connects them to a 24/7 customer support team. The same goes for a deposit. The app informs about the time and place of return. Again, no meeting with anyone, no official handover of the car. They just park it, end the rental and continue the journey. Safe and fast!
Liigu is just one contactless mobility provider, but all similar companies follow the same principles. What makes these companies successful is a strong belief in IoT and advanced technology combined with a real human connection. Yes, contactless does not necessarily mean cold, clinical and faceless. Behind a good contactless service is a group of dedicated people willing to go the extra mile for customers. Before, during and after the rental.
Is it really worth trying?
“At Liigu, we believe this is absolutely the case! The same goes for our customers, who said they really appreciate the virtual key, very clear registration and withdrawal instructions, 24/7 text support, general scheduling intelligence and attention to detail,” says Muru. “They also say that once you try the contactless solution you’ll never want to go back to the office and the key again. Our first users inspire us and encourage us to work on the reliability of technical solutions and to make their journey even easier. Our customers trust us and we want to be there for them on all their future trips. For this, we have recently added new sites in France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. We also hope that as demand increases, more of our partners will be willing to offer contactless rentals to their customers. For example, you can filter contactless offers on Wisecars.com.”
Technology with the support of real people can save us a lot of time, money and frustration. It can make our lives safer.
Isn’t this the future of travel we’ve dreamed of? It certainly is. Even if the pandemic eventually recedes, as a society we will not go back to paper and pen. The automotive world is changing rapidly and the contactless approach is becoming a new standard in car rental and other mobility services.
Be careful; rent without contact!
About the Author: Thomas Chaffraix is responsible for affiliate operations for Liiguan app-based mobility service that offers contactless car rental and car subscriptions.