Preventing pick up pain at the rental car counter

Product Strategy, Experience Design, Prototyping, User Testing

CLIENT: H0twire Rental Cars

Have you ever tried to pick up a rental car without a credit card? If you have, I feel your pain. If you haven’t, consider that rental requirements can vary between states, agencies, locations of the same agency, deposit, round-trip or one-way, your bank balance, credit score, and even where you live relative to the rental office.

That scenario affects a small percentage of business but accounts for a disproportionately large percentage of cancellations. And behind every cancellation is a human being leaving the rental agency surprised to have a hold on their debit account and no car.

The car shopping team looked for opportunities upstream in the check out process to prevent these disasters from happening.

1. Discovery

  • Listening to customer service call recordings
  • Stakeholder interview with head of Customer Experience team
  • Content and user flow audit
Step 2: UX audit

2. Hypothesis based on new UX flow

If we deliberately slow down the debit card check out flow and progressively reveal the restrictions, customers will self-select out or be better prepared for pick up and the cancellation rate will decrease.

3. Test strategy

We would launch with a deliberately heavy-handed MVP to get a quick read and then refine copy and interaction in the next iteration. We expected that the deliberate friction in the checkout flow would scare off some customers, but hoped that the impact would be offset by reducing the number of refunds.

4. InVision prototype

5. User test to validate copy and UX

6. Build MVP and A/B test

7. Evaluate results

Great for the customer: reduced denial of service refunds by 55% for the duration of the test!

So-so for the business. Iterate for better conversion.