I seldom rent cars. Seldom means twice in my life. However, because a couple of us needed to take a trip for work, we rented a car. It was half the price of paying mileage.
I picked up the car at the airport on Sunday afternoon. That location was further than others, but it was the only branch open on Sunday.
The airport in Fort Wayne in empty on Sundays. Even when it is full, it is empty compared to other airports I have known. I had to wait in line for one other person, but that is because his plane had just arrived. And I didn’t wait long.
And then it was my turn. I met Timothy. In the next five minutes, as he took car of the paperwork that would get me the car, I learned a lot from Timothy.
- they hold a car for two hours and then release it, because
- 20% of their reservations don’t show up.
- his company has a clear niche which is helping them in a difficult economy.
- they also are picking up business from people like me, who are wanting to save money.
- they are privately held which is giving them stability.
- though they aren’t owned by employees, Timothy still said “we” a lot.
- he gave me his business card.
- I know his private email, too.
- I finally understand the collision damage waiver. “You are going to have to sign it, so you might as well know what it is.”
- I understand the “We’ll pick you up” concept.
- If I’m going to be late? “It doesn’t cost much. Besides, you have my card. Call me.”
In a quiet airport on a quiet Sunday afternoon, Timothy ran the Enterprise counter with the friendliness and competence that you would expect of an owner. Which, of course, he had decided he was. In a very good way.
By the way, I’m writing this post on a Monday. One of our cars will be at the repair shop for several days. Usually, we would make do, with much frustration. This time, we’re renting a car.
Because of Timothy.
Jon Swanson also writes at http://levite.wordpress.com.
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Jon has been a regular reader and occasional contributor around here since 2006. Jon works as a pastor, but he understands business better than many so-called business people. He gets that it is about people, relationships, service, and yes, even love.