December 2016

The ubiquity of internet access can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s effectively connected millions of customers with industries, thus making business more seamless. On the other, the internet’s given everyone a sounding board to voice flippant opinions and grievances. Yelp, Trip Advisor, and other review sites have created customer feedback platforms that are very public. This is great when the feedback is good. Unfortunately there is a new wave of disgruntled customers that like to complain on their online soapbox. Businesses often complain that their customers have not aired their grievances in real time, thus blocking the business from the chance to rectify the problem before it hits the wider internet. Here are some ideas of how to handle negative Yelp reviews at your RV rental company.

Claim Your Business

Negative Yelp Reviews

Make sure that you claim your business on Yelp. This is important, as it will allow you to update it with the correct information and the best photos.

Photos are crucial

Ensure that you have high quality images. These can overcome negative reviews. A picture is often more powerful than words.

Leverage your Fans

Ask current and past customers who have had positive experiences to share them on Yelp. This is a good start at building a solid foundation on the platform.

While it may be tempting to ask friends to write bogus reviews, it’s really not a good idea. Yelp monitors all reviews, and if they track back the reviews to someone who is connected with the business owner, you can be penalized. It’s not worth it. Just focus on the customers who are already enjoying the experience, and express to them how much a positive review would mean for your business.

Think rationally before responding emotionally

While it can be upsetting to receive poor feedback, it’s a good idea to take some time before you respond emotionally. Research the customer’s account of what happened. This is a great learning tool for your business, as it allows you to identify and respond to gaps in your service.

Calmly state the facts

Disgruntled customers can have a gift of exaggeration. When it comes to RV rental, and the possible frustration of user error, the exaggerations can be even greater. It is important to lay out the facts in a respectful manner. Address each complaint separately via email initially and back it up with your evidence. Try to listen to what your renter is saying and ask questions, even if their account seems to contradict the real situation.

If the review violates the Yelp terms of service, you can also request for it to be removed.

Remember: while there are always going to be difficult customers, those providing constructive complaints are valuable to your business. They are making sure you stay on your toes and keep you striving for better.

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For more ways to move your rental business forward go to www.wheelbasepro.com and schedule a demo today.

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Wheelbase RV rental

Wheelbase makes your life easier and your RV rental business more profitable. Last week we told you about employee logins and edit tracking. This week we’re releasing new payment support for checks, reservation export, and a whole lot more.


Support for Paying by Check

wheelbasepro rv rental company

Wheelbase now supports an additional payment type: You can now input checks into the system with check number logging.


Reservations export to spreadsheet

Wheelbasepro RV rental software

If you need to export your reservations for any reason, you are now able to do that. The data is exported into a CSV file. It can then be used for running your own reports or accounting.


Calendar improvements

Wheelbase RV rental

You can now click the arrows to collapse a section or view your inventory by an internal ID that you’ve set on your vehicles.


More vehicle info to help your renters make the right decision, faster

wheelbasepro RV rental software

 You are now able to input the height, width, and length with hitch of your vehicle to help your renters figure out more quickly which vehicle is right for them.


Bug Fixes

  • Resolved an issue where renters had problems adding drivers to their reservation.
  • Improved renter cancelation notice so you can handle refunds more easily.
  • The interface for quotes now honors the default insurance options, helping you know more clearly what the final cost will be for the renter.
  • Refunds will now automatically update so you’ll know when money was refunded successfully.
  • Insurance binder requests will no longer require a fax number.
  • For consigned vehicles, owners will no longer have to include a security deposits when they rent their own RV.
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Teaching your new RV rental company employees to close your rental deals should be part of your onboarding process. Some of your employees may feel like sales is a dirty word, but if you focus on your service, the sale will come naturally. Here are a couple of tips to offer to employees who will be booking RV rentals for you.

Treat every customer as a potential sale

Even if the customer says they are only inquiring, it is important that you think of them as a potential sale. This requires giving them the same service and advice that you would any other buyer. This can potentially lead them from the inquiry to purchase stage.

Ask questions, then listen carefully to the answers

RV rental company employees

Learn to communicate effectively and listen to your customer’s needs. Ask clear open questions to ascertain what exactly they are looking for, and offer them an RV in line with their budget requirement and trip expectations. Sales people often get it wrong through ineffective listening, for example offering a product out of their customer’s budget. Say less and listen more.

Follow Up

Potential deals are often lost through lack of follow up. Ensure that you obtain email addresses or contact details so that you can follow up with the potential renter. Schedule a call in your calendar to show your customer that you haven’t forgotten them. If they were making an inquiry to start with, this is a good opportunity to ascertain if they have firmed up their booking dates or if they were happy with your quotes.

In for the Kill

RV rental company Wheelbase

It is more than OK to ask the direct question. You need to know if the person on the phone is ready to book their rental. The question can be asked in a polite manner. For example: “Shall I book those dates for you today, Sir/Ma’am?” This approach is non-threatening for your client and allows them opportunity to decline if they wish.

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For more ways to move your rental business forward go to www.wheelbasepro.com and schedule a demo today.

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Writing a script for the person answering your calls is a great, easy way to make life easier for everyone on your RV rental company team. Here are some reasons why, and how you can go about creating your own script.

Uniformity

While uniformity sounds a little bit dull, it is important in handling your sales and service enquiries. A uniform script builds brand awareness, and ensures that people know what service to expect. It gives the impression of a polished business, that takes pride in every facet, right down to the simple phone call. A standard greeting and signing off should form the foundations of your script template. Decide on how to address your client. Madam or sir might work, but if that is too formal, you could ask for their first name, and use it throughout the conversation.

phone script

Photo by Joi Ito

Body

While queries will vary, it is good to have a standardized script for general customer RV rental queries. It’s the best way to offer potential renters exactly what they want and need, without missing any vital information. Here’s a good example of an opening:

“Thank you for calling [Name of Company].” No matter what the customer says, the response is: “Great, I’d be happy to help you with that.” And then you create a set of questions for the customer support team member to ask the customer. Questions should cover topics like budget, length of trip, number of people, and preferred destinations. Create a template with the opening and the required questions, then print it off for everyone in the office. That way no one misses out on offering the best service and advice to the customer.

Brainstorm

After you’ve created the first pass at the script, get your staff together and brainstorm potential questions that clients ask. This is a great opportunity to squeeze out areas that may need training. It also gives you lots to work with when creating the ultimate phone script.

Confidence

A phone script is a great aid in confidence building for your staff. When new employees start, it can be nerve wrecking to feel unprepared when a customer calls. A script helps onboard new team members and offers a great guideline for how a call should travel. When your staff sounds more confident in the information that they are delivering, it makes your client feel more confident in their purchasing decision.

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For more ways to move your rental business forward go to www.wheelbasepro.com and schedule a demo today.

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We’re here to make your life easier and your RV rental business more profitable. Last week we told you about drag and drop calendars and more. This week we’re releasing employee logins (to let you see who took what action in the software), more support for dealers with numerous locations, and a new quick navigation menu.


Employee Logins

You can know allow individual employees to log in to the Wheelbase system by creating a login for them. Start at the Employee & Users tab on the lefthand menu.Wheelbase rental software

Now that you’ve set up your employees in the system, you will be able to see who added notes, details, add-ons, and more.

Edit Tracking by Employee

Wheelbase rental software

And coming up…

The default setting for all employees is currently the same. They can do everything but change bank payout info or rules. But we’re working on adding more functionality to this area of the system to specify rules for what employees can and cannot do.


Improved location support to filter by an individual location

To add a new location into the system, choose store locations from the lefthand menu, then click the “Add new location” button.

Wheelbase rental softwareTo manage the calendar and settings of a specific location, go to your dropdown menu at the top of the page and select the location you’d like to focus on.

more coming soon including permissions: #1 Right now employees can do everything but edit the master account, meaning they can't change bank payout info or rules, we're working on adding the ability to specify what employees can and cannot do


Quick navigation added to the main navigation

In your main menu dropdown under your account, there’s now a quick navigation section with shortcuts listed under “Jump To” to save you time.

rv rental software Wheelbasepro


Internal ID support if you maintain your own Stock numbers

If you have multiple identical vehicles and you want to differentiate your stock, you can now  create internal IDs within the system to help keep your accounting clean. For example, if you use your own stock numbers you can refer to the vehicles consistantly both inside Wheelbase and when speaking with employees.

rv rental software wheelbase

  • Improvements
    • 15x speedup when loading your inbox messages.
    • Edit/change your own password & contact info on your profile.
  • Bug fix
    • Resolved an issue where sometimes the inbox wouldn’t show newest messages at the top.
    • Resolved an issue where sometimes booking charges would show as off by a penny.
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social media rv rentals

New social media platforms are constantly appearing. Their rapid evolution can give the sense that they are temporary, but the truth is they can be powerful as business-building tools. Each platform has a different role to play in digital marketing. The merit of each platform is contingent on your company’s resources as well as the RV rentals you’re marketing. Some will hold greater value than others. While it may seem that some forms of social media may not serve your product directly, they can be business masterminds in disguise.

Social Media rv dealerships

Instagram is a visual social media platform built around the ability to share photos (and recently, instant video as it works to compete with Snapchat). Instagram is synonymous with delicious meals, cute puppies, and stunning destinations. What if your RV dealership’s Instagram feed focused on amazing destinations that your renters could visit in a rented RV? Before they take their trip, you could ask them to follow you to get ideas. You wouldn’t even need to include the RV itself if you didn’t have the photos. Beautiful nature, incredible landscapes and stunning sunsets would suffice. This is a method of selling the RV dream in an easy, connected way. Use hashtags to help curious Instagrammers find you. As they look at your feed, they will see your website or RV listing at the top. Clicking through to your site, they can browse your RV collection and perhaps even make a booking. This will all happen because they caught sight of some wonderful pictures that took them on a sensory journey.

social media and rv dealerships

Pinterest, like Instagram, is driven by images. The difference with Pinterest is that you can create a mood board by pinning your RV listings alongside places of interest. It’s actually more effective to juxtapose different ideas next to each other as you can create some RV road trip inspiration by bringing together many different ideas. Tapping into established RV brands on Pinterest can also help you find armchair travelers who have been dreaming of taking a trip and are ready to be inspired by your RV rentals. Make sure to include links back to your website.

social media rv dealership

Facebook is the most ubiquitous social media platform in the world, and that is its power. Create a page, then invite your contacts to like your page. Share posts on other Facebook forums and engage with your followers. Create a compelling call to action and include your contact number and a link to your website. If someone accesses your Facebook page from a mobile device, they can call you straight away.  This ease of purchase is what travelers seek out. Facebook is hitting the high notes with user friendliness.

social media rv rental

The common denominator with social media platforms is that they open you up to an audience that a website alone cannot tap into. To find a website, someone has to be searching for it. Social media finds people who might not even realize that they wanted to be found.

Social media is a rapidly growing area of digital marketing, and it can be hard to keep all of the channels moving at once. Hootsuite or Buffer are platforms that allow you to manage multiple different social mediums. But maybe that’s for another day.

fleet management

For more ways to move your rental business forward go to www.wheelbasepro.com and schedule a demo today.

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fleet management software Wheelbase

You’ve probably seen how nervous first time renters are when they arrive at your office. For people who have never driven a Class A or even a Class C, getting acclimated to driving a big rig while understanding the new terrain of rental expectations can feel overwhelming. To reach a new set of customers online and close the deal fast, follow these simple steps.

Clarity

The more you can be transparent around cost, the better. RV renters often fear of hidden charges. Using Wheelbase can help. We work to identify all associated costs ahead of time and flag potential costs down the track. fleet managementWheelbase also offers a very clear policy for insurance. It’s easy to understand and allows the customer to feel confident in what it offers them.

Mileage

It’s a good idea to be open about each RV’s mileage and history. In fact, you could display these details on your rental listing. This could help to mitigate fear surrounding the mechanical state of the RV. It’s comforting for a new RV renter to know that there is roadside assistance like Coach-Net offered, so make sure to let your renter how to make their trip worry-free.

Cancellation

It is preferable for your RV renter to have full awareness around your cancellation policies. A good cancellation policy can result in more converted inquiries. It provides RV renters with a safety net that they usually don’t even end up using.

Ongoing Support

fleet management software

photo by Highways Agency

It’s a nice touch to offer your customer ongoing support in preparation of their trip. Let them know that you can help with trip planning ideas or share online resources to help them get excited about stops along the way. Knowing that they have an expert who can help out with planning is very reassuring, particularly given it can be quite intimidating to drive an unfamiliar vehicle.Make sure that you let potential renters, esp first time renters, know that this kind of service is something that you do as a company. It will improve your reviews and, in turn, bring you more renters via SEO.

Open Door Policy

When initially discussing a potential rental with a client, make sure to open the conversation, either digitally or over the phone, to their question. Allow yourself to address any of their concerns. Be sure to give confident, polished information, so that they can build trust in your business, and hopefully make the booking.

Road Test

Another valuable selling tool is to offer your customer a road test. If the intimidation around renting is to do with driving the RV itself, letting first time renters know that you can help them with a little test drive can alleviate customers concern. It is also a really great value add to your service, showing that you have that extra time for your customer.

fleet management wheelbase

The test drive can get you places when it comes to business-building.

fleet managementFor more ways to move your rental business forward go to www.wheelbasepro.com and schedule a demo today.

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We want to make your life easier and your business more profitable. Last week we told you about add-ons by vehicle, easier consigned booking and more. This week we’re releasing enhancements to allow you to customize your checkout experience and to help you with your owner payouts.


Drag and Drop Calendar Reservations

You can now switch around reservations by clicking and dragging vehicles on your calendar to your desired dates.


Smoother, Easier Owner Payouts

We improved our owner payouts to make them as smooth and easy as possible. In the past, you’d be required to set up your payout settings per reservation.

wheelbasepro software fleet management

We now apply your payout settings automatically, so new payout reports will always be up-to-date with your newest settings.


Personalized Confirmation and Checkout Pages 

You can now add your logo and customize the background image used on your renter’s booking confirmation pages during checkout.

wheelbase software fleet management

Wheelbase software rv rental


Customized Insurance and Roadside Assistance Settings

If you enable this new setting in your dashboard, your renter will be able to select an insurance plan on checkout or provide their own binder. If you don’t enable it, your renter will not be able to select their own plan or opt out of insurance to provide their own binder.

wheelbase rv fleet management
This same functionality works for roadside assistance. If you enable the new setting, your renters can add roadside themselves or opt out of Coach-Net and add their own.


Easy Contact with Renter When Reservation is Cancelled

You can now notify your renter and explain your reasons when you need to cancel a reservation.

Wheelbase rv rental software


Miscellaneous

  • We’ve also made it possible for renters to enter their destination during checkout in order to auto-calculate your vehicle’s round trip distance. We then surface that information in your dashboard on the reservation.
  • We fixed an issue where the newest messages weren’t always showing up on the top of your inbox.

If you see any bugs in our software, please report them to Wheelbase Integrations Support Manager Eric Liddle. You can reach Eric by email or on the phone at 415-906-6046.

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Online advertising campaigns can make a big difference to your bottom line and help you reach entirely new groups of potential customers interested in your rentals. If you’ve never worked with targeted advertising before, the most important thing to remember is that you will be experimenting, learning, and then optimizing as you go in order to get the most from your investment.

Start with Google Adwords

wheelbase rv rental software

Google AdWords is a large marketing suite of tools that allows you to choose from many forms of advertising. The premise is simple: Each time someone clicks on your strategically created advertisement you are charged a fee. Google AdWords is a great way to grow your online presence, but it can be very costly if you use it on an ongoing basis without testing as you go and optimizing your campaigns to bring you the highest number of  paying customers possible.

The two biggest categories of ads within Google AdWords are keyword search ads, which are shown based on a user’s search phrase or word within the Google platform and partner network. Display ads are the second bucket. They can be either images, text, or both, and it’s a good idea to have a variety, for reasons we’ll be getting into later in this post.

Set Up Your Account

Set up an AdWords account using a gmail address. If you don’t have a gmail address yet, you can create one for free. Here’s a step-by-step guideline to account creation. Once you’ve created your account, you add credit to it to get started with your first campaign. Then it’s time to start creating your ad.

Keyword Search versus Display Advertising

Keyword search ads are text only and made up of a headline, a brief description, and a limited character count. In addition to writing your text, you’ll need to make some decisions about where you want your ad to appear. Should your ad appear on Google only or do you want to widen the pool of potential renters to include people searching on sources like Bing, Yahoo, Ask.com and DuckDuckGo? What about the devices your potential customers are using. Do you think they are searching on desktops (including laptops), phones, or tablets?

When you’re ready to write your keyword search, you need to remember that you’re competing with a vast amount of businesses in similar industries. The words you choose must be highly targeted. One place to start is long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are phrases that your target audience might be searching for like “good model of RV to rent” or “best RV for Yellowstone.”

wheelbase rv software
Choosing long tail keywords instead of common phrases reduces the competition–since Adwords works on an auction model–increases the real buyers, thinning out window shoppers and lowering the price. Keep in mind this will also lower the reach as fewer people will be searching for these specific phrases. Make sure to set daily caps so that you don’t overspend before you get any results.

 Setting Up Display Advertising

Display advertising is another pay-per-click advertising service that allows you to target potential RV renters. In the case of display advertising, you have the ability to include imagery as well as text to make your ad pop. Display ads appear on websites that are using the Google ad network to monetize their sites. Because of the variety of sites involved in the network, making sure that you upload different versions and sizes of ads will help ensure that you don’t miss out on an opportunity for an impression. Sites integrate Google Ads differently, and if someone is visiting a website on a specific device, you want make sure you have the right ad size to be able to serve them.

As with keyword search advertising, you are able to choose your own level of targeting when setting up your ads. You can go with a broad geography or get as specific as certain websites (for example, if you have a huge dealership you might want to appear on GoRVing, knowing that your renters are spending time researching trips there.) Google will also give you suggestions based on the content of your site, though it’s important to bear in mind that a suggestion doesn’t mean your ad will be displayed. The display advertising is on the auction model, just as the keyword search ads are. Your bid plays an important role. This is why focusing on conversion rate and the things you can control like imagery, call to action, and testing is so crucial.

Choosing Imagery

Since you are competing for eyeballs in this space, anything that sets you apart is going to be of benefit. Experiment with color and shade.

fleet management softwareWriting a Great Call to Action

You need to compel the user to take an action or you risk being ignored. Grab your browsers attention by offering something unique and experimenting with your call to action line. What about trying a discount for first time renters? This is a good way to draw in new business, that will potentially turn into repeat business. Or what about seasonality? Discounts for the holidays can set you apart and help you feel timely in relation to your competitors. When it comes to calls out action, like all of Google AdWords advertising, testing is everying. Which line is better: “Find out more” or “Start your adventure”? The truth is you won’t know until you test.

Testing Your Ad

When it comes to creating ads, test, test, test. Button colors, backgrounds, calls to action, headlines, including text on image versus below image, the integration of logo versus no logo. The only thing you have to remember: just test one thing at a time. The only way you can learn from the testing you do is to test each element separately.

One Goal at a Time

A common mistake that business owners make is that they create campaigns that try to do too much. For example, a single keyword search campaign made up of phrases, exact matches and broad terms might lack results altogether. Most importantly, it will be hard to obtain accurate reporting from campaign like this. Instead, divide this work into three campaigns with clearly defined goals. You can then see which one was of most benefit to your objectives at the end.

Kickstart your online presence

Google AdWords is an awesome way to kick start your online presence, but the real future objective is to create organic growth. To do that, you’ll need to start sharing the knowledge you’ve gained with your future renters, who are are interested in it. Creating great content on an ongoing basis is the best way to get seen online (and it’s free if you do it yourself). Collecting great reviews from your customers for your site. Encouraging renters to review you on Yelp and elsewhere will drive ongoing traffic to your business. If you have international potential customers, try to get them to review your business in their native language. Those reviews will be indexed and new renters from those other countries will find you through other language versions of Google.

fleet management

For more ways to move your rental business forward go to www.wheelbasepro.com and schedule a demo today.

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