Drive Repeat Customers to Your Rental Company [4 Strategies]
Rental companies are prime candidates for getting repeat customers. Client satisfaction is essential for every operator’s success, but why is repeat business so important?
Returning customers are 50% more likely to purchase from you than a new customer (EZO).
We like those odds! Getting repeat customers can be easy for rental companies, just due to the nature of the business. Think about the families who vacation in the same town every year and want to rent bikes. Or a local resident who loves to ride an ATV, but doesn’t have the space to keep one.
This guide will cover the different steps you can take to become everyone’s go-to business!
1. Get to Know Your Customers Even Better
The route to having a successful business is understanding your target customers. You need to know their behaviors and preferences so you can plan your marketing, availability options, and pricing accordingly.
Consider how your customers make their rental decisions. Ask yourself questions like:
- Is my business family friendly?
- Do I provide the best rates in the area?
- Do I offer other add-ons or other benefits that would entice customers to book?
Knowing what your particular customer type prefers will help you win their business and keep them coming back again.
One way to learn more about your customers’ preferences is by reading your reviews and simply asking customers the right questions. Find out which aspects of their renting experience were positive or negative and tailor your business accordingly.
Pro Tip: To go even further, you can also conduct audience research to nail down your target audience. This is an important step to ensure you are spending your marketing dollars in the right place.
2. As Always, Provide Exceptional Service
It goes without saying that the better the customer service, the better the customer experience. As a rental company, you likely will not be spending an exorbitant amount of time with your customers, but you should always take the extra steps to make sure your customers feel supported.
Simple ways to improve the guest experience:
- Give out a map and point out which spots they should go to.
- Offer additional amenities like a locker or bathroom.
- Have the option to purchase snacks or beverages.
Conduct Ongoing Staff Training
Another vital piece of the customer experience puzzle is training every member of your staff to have a customer-oriented attitude, no matter the situation. As with any business, situations can get complicated. It’s important that your staff knows how to deal with a challenging customer.
Prioritize an Updated Website and Clear Communication
Customers want to know exactly what to expect. Your website should outline your cancellation policy, no-show fees, if they need to sign a waiver, and anything else they should know about your renting process.
Pro Tip: Set up reminder emails to cut down on no-shows! It’s an easy to set-up, automated communication that will send at your preferred time before the reservation. You can add in tailored details about your business to shorten check-in times too.
3. Nurture the Right Customer Relationships
You want to build a strong connection with your customers from the first impression and every touch point moving forward. Of course, it is vital to treat them kindly in-person while they are renting from your company, but it is also important to keep in touch after.
Below are a few ways you can nurture relationships to gain more repeat customers.
Utilize Email and Newsletters to Keep Your Business Top of Mind
Email communications are arguably the easiest way to stay in touch with past customers since you will likely have their email address from the booking confirmation.
To kickstart your communication, send a follow-up email thanking them for renting. You can also include a survey to find out if they enjoyed their experience — or find ways you can improve.
Or, to entice them further, send customers a promo code for a discounted price for the next time they rent from you.
Showcase Your Business on Social Media
Having an active social media presence is important for many reasons, but can also lead to more repeat customers. Feature user-generated content or photos you take of people enjoying your equipment as this is an easy way to engage previous customers.
You can also run a social media contest to get customers even more excited about renting your equipment again.
4. Implement a Marketing Plan Based on Customers’ Interests
Once you learn more about your customers and their interests, it’s time to devise a marketing plan to capture that target audience. Create a strategy with consistent communication that will reach new customers and keep your audience engaged. (Remember though, sometimes less is more! You do not want to bombard customers with unnecessary information.)
A few pieces you should consider for your marketing strategy:
- Build your brand and promote it on various channels. For example, social media, email, paid search, and your blog.
- Leverage social proof — user generated content, reviews, and comments on social media. This builds trust and credibility for your business as well as demonstrates the value of your services to potential customers.
- Continue posting and sending content that performs the best. For instance, if your social posts with videos of customers on your kayaks performs the best — post more of those!
These are just a few ideas to get you started. A good rule of thumb is to always think customer-first when creating your marketing strategy.
When you nurture your existing client base, they will recommend your business to new customers and become repeat customers. It’s a win-win!