When it comes to the journey between home and hotel, today’s travelers are candid about what they expect. In doing so, they’ve given travel consultants a detailed road map for making their journey a success—and winning repeat business.

Travel customers want personalized service and a seamless travel experience, where every transportation booking detail is considered and accounted for. These door-to-door itineraries include car rentals as well as all the extras that come along for the ride.

Explore the importance of providing a personalized experience through smarter car booking in our white paper and attend our free webinar September 19th.

The tools to succeed

Across cities and countries, from business conferences to family excursions, customers want travel consultants to listen to what they need—and ensure that their journey exceeds expectations.

To fulfill this goal, it’s vital that travel consultants are empowered with the resources, technology and tools to identify the right vehicle class for the right customer. To offer travelers a tailored travel experience, it helps to have the sort of software or technology partners that can identify preferences such as airport, ZIP code or point of interest.

With strong supplier partnerships, travel consultants can also offer guaranteed extras. Whether the client wants a navigation system, a ski rack, a toll tag or child car seats (or any combination thereof), travel consultants can reserve them and guarantee they will be available upon the customer’s arrival—without any unwanted surprises. Travel consultants can also offer customers specialty vehicles or prepaid parking.

With door-to-door service, customers get to their destination hassle-free and ready to drive with exactly what they need, and corporate travel managers can anticipate and control costs because they know exactly what car services their employees will request.

Emerging opportunity

Across all customer segments, there is one group that represents the greatest opportunity for personalized car service: bleisure, or business travelers who tend to stay at a destination for a few extra days to wander and explore. These customers typically need daily transportation but don’t want to rely on taxis, public transportation or ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft for a variety of reasons. Maybe they prefer a more fluid come-and-go travel experience. Perhaps they aren’t comfortable jumping into the back seat of a stranger’s car. It could be that they need a specific vehicle, such as a minivan. Or maybe it’s simply because they like to drive themselves.

In fact, according to a J.D. Power North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study:

“Travelers who rent a car and then combine business and leisure are by far the most satisfied.”

While ride-sharing companies are gaining in both popularity and market share, and public transportation services are expanding services across the nation, the great thing about the ground segment of the travel industry is that there is enough business and solutions to accommodate every customer.

New APIs, better bookings

In the next year, it’s important to evaluate current application programming interfaces (APIs) and keep an eye out for new options. Some new APIs provide travel consultants with the flexibility to distribute information in the way they prefer, while also delivering more content, streamlined shopping and smarter booking capabilities. Whether the travel consultant regularly books car rentals or is new to the opportunity, this technology enables everyone to deliver the personalized ground transportation services today’s customers expect.

Boost customer loyalty

To begin the process of offering door-to-door service, travel consultants need to ask only one simple question: Do you need to rent a car? From there, they can provide the vehicle class and extras to make it easy to get their customers from home to hotel. Not only do customers want the seamless experience, they appreciate the convenience. And they will let you know by coming back with their business time and time again.