Penske Reduces Customer No-Shows with AI Automation Strategy
Faced with the ever-present challenge of streamlining the truck rental reservation management process, Penske partnered with SmartAction to deploy an AI virtual agent to confirm, change, and cancel reservations through both proactive voice calls and text messages.
Success by the Numbers
For customers, cancelling a reservation at the last minute has little to no consequence. However, on the business side of things, that is not the case — the company needs to plan ahead to ensure the right vehicle is available at the right location. If a customer doesn’t show up for their truck rental reservation, it can set off a series of events that affect other customers and several branches. For this reason, confirming reservations is vital to circumventing operational issues downstream.
To reduce customer no-shows, Penske relied on live agents to make thousands of outbound reservation confirmation calls per month. This process proved to be time-consuming and costly, driving Penske to consider automation options for self-service. Penske sought a solution that would automate the confirmation process and alleviate the burden on their live agents. They also needed to ensure that any reservation changes or cancellations were completed correctly.
Penske chose to partner with SmartAction for its omnichannel, conversational AI offering that proactively reaches out to customers over phone and text. The AI virtual agent engages customers with an upcoming reservation to confirm the date, time, and pickup/dropoff location. If the customer confirms the reservation details, the virtual agent makes note of the confirmation in the Penske database.
If the customer decides to change or cancel the reservation, the virtual agent assists with the change or cancellation, without the need for human intervention.
With the SmartAction AI virtual agent, Penske confirms 1,000+ additional reservations a month, leading to a dramatic reduction in costly no-shows. The virtual agent successfully confirms, changes, or cancels 35% of calls and 55% of text messages. Most importantly, Penske has recognized a better customer experience by providing a conversational path to self-service – without live agent involvement.
“Working with SmartAction has definitely been a positive experience for us. They’ve given us the flexibility to provide multiple communication options for our customers.”
– Director of Rental Contact Centers, Penske