A Case Study In Social Media Customer Service Done Right: Enterprise Rent-A-Car

It’s nice to hear about social media case studies, but maybe it’s even better to experience one first-hand.

This past Saturday, on the freeway about an hour from home, my transmission quit. After coasting about an mile and a half to an exit, I called AAA, and they made arrangements for me to speak with Enterprise Rent-A-Car about getting transportation while my van was in the shop. Because it was Saturday afternoon, none of the local offices were open, so I wound up making a reservation at the airport.

Two problems there. The first was immediately obvious: Enterprise’s slogan, “We’ll pick you up”, only applies to the local offices, so I had to get someone to drive me to the airport. OK, I understood that. But when I got to the airport, I discovered the second problem: the airport locations won’t rent on a debit card unless you’re flying in and out. The agent was apologetic, but there was nothing he could do.

Fortunately my sister-in-law had waited with us. ‘No problem,’ I thought. ‘We’ll go home, and I’ll call my local office and get a ride on Monday morning.’ I’ve rented with Enterprise dozens of times; because I’m the only driver in the house, “We’ll pick you up” makes them my rental agency of choice.

Unfortunately, when I went to book that car for this morning, I was horrified to see that there were no cars available at the two closest offices. The nearest office with a car was 25 minutes away, and I was definitely out of their territorial range.

And that’s where social media comes in. Frustrated, I tweeted:

The one downside of living in the country is that when your car breaks down, you pray Enterprise has a car. Naturally, they don’t. Sigh.

A few minutes later, I found the following @mention from @enterprisecares:

@NickChase We are listening. Is there anything we can help with? If yes, please tweet/follow us & I’ll DM our contact information (amanda)

Surprised, I did as they asked, and, receiving the customer care email address, explained the situation to them. By this time I’d made a reservation at the distant location (hoping I could find someone to take me down there), and Amanda told me she’d email over there and make sure they did everything they could to help.

And that’s exactly what they did.  This morning I called, and true to her word, Amanda (or someone) had let the office know my situation. “Mister Chase, we are going to do whatever it takes to get you going here today,” Paula said. “What time do you have to have the car by?”

Turns out that cars were in short supply because of hail damage here in North and South Carolina, and that was why my local office was sold out. But not only did they find me a car, they did indeed come and pick me up, and I was able to do everything I needed to do today.

And I’m very glad, because I like Enterprise, and didn’t like feeling badly about using them.

So the moral of the story is this: Pay attention to what’s being said about you. Because Enterprise Rent-A-Car spent the resources to monitor social media, they were able to turn a frustrated (and vocal) customer from a source of negative sentiment to a champion of their brand.

What are you doing to monitor what’s being said about you?

One Response to “A Case Study In Social Media Customer Service Done Right: Enterprise Rent-A-Car”

  1. [...] Enterprise Rent-A-Car monitors social media and helps a frustrated customer in this excellent and personal case study. [...]

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