Like most businesses, Enterprise Holdings, which owns the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands, has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. But by adjusting its policies, implementing safety measures, and putting the health and well-being of its customers and employees top of mind, the essential service provider is well positioned to weather the storm. In this week’s Take Five interview, we sit down with Ian Dale, Assistant Vice President of Business Rental Development – Canadian Operations for Enterprise Holdings, to discuss what the company is doing to maintain operations and how it’s staying hopeful about the future.
1. How has your current business model changed as a result of the current COVID-19 crisis?
As an essential service provider, Enterprise is staying open to serve customers who rely on us to provide critical mobility options and for people on the frontlines of relief efforts. At neighbourhood locations in Canada and the U.S., we are offering modified service options for safety. This is to serve customers who rely on us to provide critical transportation options such as helping move people, services and goods or supporting relief agencies, emergency services, utilities, the military and local governments in their efforts.
2. What do customers need to be aware of in terms of your updated car rental process?
While this is truly an unprecedented time for everyone, our first priority is and will always be the safety of employees and customers and that’s why we have modified our services. A select number of our North American Enterprise Rent-A-Car neighbourhood locations remain open to help customers on their way, while minimizing foot traffic in our locations. As part of these temporary operational changes, we also modified our offerings to include curbside rental transactions as well as delivery at our open branch locations to promote social distancing. In addition, we have extended our existing no-fee cancellation policy to include customers with pre-paid rentals booked directly through us.
3. How are you ensuring employee and customer safety?
Enterprise has implemented a number of measures to keep our employees and customers safe, in addition to consolidating our operations to centralized branches to limit physical locations and modifying our service offerings. For those small teams who remain working in our open locations, we are encouraging team members to follow health authority best practices and increased social distancing efforts, including limiting the number of employees at our locations and within our vehicles. We are taking additional steps to ensure local teams have the resources and supplies they need to stay safe. These measures have also been implemented for teleworking employees at all our administrative offices.
In addition, we’ve always taken seriously the cleanliness of our locations and vehicles, and we know this is more important now than ever. That’s why we have modified our cleaning procedures using recommendations from various health authorities. On top of vacuuming and general wipe-down cleaning, we are sanitizing with disinfectant key areas including frequently touched surfaces at our locations and in our vehicles. Additionally, we have measures in place to immediately isolate and quarantine any vehicle if needed.
4. How is your loyalty program impacted at this time?
Our loyalty program is our way to thank and reward our loyal renters and we understand the impact the COVID-19 travel restrictions have on their ability to safely redeem their points. Due to this, we are extending Enterprise Plus points that are expiring in March, April and May of 2020, which members will see reflected as a courtesy point extension in their member profile by April 30, 2020. As a reminder, points only expire if there’s no rental activity in three years.
Additionally, Both Enterprise Plus and National’s Emerald Club will extend our elite tiers another year. This means that those tiers expiring on 2/28/21 will now expire on 2/28/22. Both Enterprise Plus and Emerald Club will rollover any qualifying rentals and rental days above those needed to get the member to the next tier, giving the member a balance into the following year.
5. What is next for Enterprise Holdings?
In these challenging times, Enterprise Holdings – like so many others in the travel industry – has witnessed a profound impact to our business and has been forced to make unprecedented decisions. But we are making decisions to support our employees and our customers, along with keeping the long-term health of our business in mind. We will be there when this crisis begins to lift. Until then we will keep moving forward together.