zipcar | Customer Service Solutions, Inc.

A Story of Willie and Aubrey - 2/8/22

The gift shop was a great experience!  Aubrey had bought items online from the shop for years, but she had never stepped foot in the store itself.  However, when travel plans took her on a trip to new surroundings, she took time out of her day to go to Read more

It Matters Who You Know - 2/1/22

The season ticket account holder has an issue, but he’s not too concerned about it:  I’m going to call my guy, and he’ll take care of it. The patient is confused about their bill.  The family member says: I know someone who can help. The husband discovers a problem in the Read more

Put an End to 1-Star Ratings - 1/25/22

If you ever had service performed on your car, I would not doubt it if you received the immediate e-mail asking for that 5-star rating. They want the big ratings because that makes them look good, and to get the big average rating you have to avoid the 1-Star Read more

Signs of Service Recovery Situations - 1/18/22

As we continue the slow trend of more and more customer interactions becoming in-person again, we need to remember those signs that we’re about to enter one of THOSE conversations.  It can typically take only 5-10 seconds to realize this is going to be a high-risk situation with the Read more

In Survey Development, Think in Reverse - 1/11/22

We often meet with clients interested in conducting a survey, and when we discuss the project, many clients come with questions in-hand.  They are interested, curious, even excited sometimes about the possibility of tapping into the voice of the customer! And when we review their questions and start to see Read more

Foster Positive Feelings - 1/4/22

I bet a lot of you all are like me - when you’re asked to share your feelings, it’s not always something that feels comfortable.  It obviously depends on the situation and who’s asking you to share your feelings.  So, many of us might hesitate in sharing our feelings. However, Read more

How to Make the Situation Right - 12/28/21

The manager in the field office felt that - when problems arose with customers - the company didn’t do an especially good job of responding effectively.  He felt like this was hurting customer renewals of annual service agreements.  The company developed many customer service and retention initiatives with little Read more

2021 Holiday Poem - 12/21/21

Breathe and rest and relax and rejuvenate. Close the eyes, and fill the lungs. Take a break, and be with friends. This is a time to begin. Renaissance is called a rebirth. Birth can bring new life. Life gives opportunity for living. Living gives opportunity for joy. We have so many outside factors, So many things that tug Read more

“I’m Sorry” Doesn’t Mean “I’m Guilty” - 12/14/21

Individuals and organizations mess up; that’s part of life… They told me that they were going to be at my home at a certain time; they were REALLY late.  The customer service representative said they would get a message to a co-worker, and the co-worker would call me back; I Read more

Apply Selfless Service - 12/7/21

Andrea had worked in human resources for years, and the company decided that it wanted to hire employees who were more customer service-oriented, regardless of the position.  After making that decision, they added some creative questions to the interview process. One of the most interesting questions that Andrea had to Read more

Don’t Zip to the Wrong Customer Service Solution

Posted on in Business Advice, World of Customer Service Please leave a comment

Instead of renting or buying a car, why not share it? That’s the premise of Zipcar – an organization using a “Blue Ocean” strategy to build a business.

And like every business, the customer’s experience is not all about the product; the employee attitudes and process impact overall perceptions and loyalty (and $$). So an Adweek article like Zipcar’s Customer Service Gets Horrible Reviews is the last thing a growing business needs.

However, what’s most interesting about the article is what some business experts suggest that Zipcar should do to improve the experience. In response to complaints about “dirty cars, rude reps, unreturned emails, last-minute changes,” advice is given such as “how about a lighthearted phone app where customers report the quality of the car they are picking up or returning.” So customers would report the cars are dirty? We already know there are dirty cars…

How about this advice – “Customers could be alerted that Zipcar is rating them internally and that bad ratings could result in fines or having their Zipcar membership revoked.” So we penalize the customers for bad ratings? So we want to artificially increase ratings?

These bits of advice are classic of people jumping from symptom to solution (create an app and punish customers?) without giving consideration for the root cause. Zipcar needs to ask why are cars dirty, why are reps rude, why are e-mails not being returned, and why are changes done last minute? Find the root cause, and the solution becomes much more clear. The solutions will probably deal with employee hiring/training/motivation/accountability, process improvements, better tracking of documents/vehicles (and yes, customers).

When you have an issue, “There’s an app for that” is rarely the best answer.

Listen to our latest podcast episode of “Stepping Up Service” on The MESH Network at