1. How long have you been with First Car Rental?
It feels like yesterday, but can you believe that it’s been 10 years. Time certainly flies when you’re having fun.
2. What positions have you held at First Car Rental over this period?
I started off in our Sales department in Gauteng. Two years later, there was an opportunity to go into operations as Branch Manager at the OR Tambo International Airport branch. I soon realised that I had found my passion within First Car Rental and loved every minute. From there I was promoted to District Manager for Gauteng, then to Regional Manager for Gauteng, and now very recently, to National Operations Manager.
3. Congratulations on your new position to National Operations Manager. What are your main duties for this position?
Thank you! In conjunction with the EXCO members, determine and implement the long-term strategic objectives of our business. To ensure growth through directing and managing business operations activities to the best of my ability, and ensure these are delivered in accordance with the organisational strategy.
Vehicle Quality is one of the most important factors in our business. This means ensuring that each vehicle is rented out in a safe and clean condition, on time, every time.
4. One of the important issues car rental firms face on a daily basis is getting vehicles back into pristine condition ready for the next rental, efficiently and on time? How do you intend managing this part of your duties?
Vehicle Quality is one of the most important factors in our business. This means ensuring that each vehicle is rented out in a safe and clean condition, on time, every time. The only way for us to truly evaluate, maintain and improve on our service delivery is through continuous audits and feedback from our customers, and I personally encourage our customers to do just this through our customer services platform on our First Car Rental website.
5. How do you intend to standardise this customer experience nationally?
Knowing that good service is fundamental in business is easy to say, but I am committed to making this a reality through various channels such as open communication, guidance and a positive attitude. It is important for employees to know what is expected of them and why. I will measure this this by implementing various elements to continuously improve our service delivery such as customer surveys, audits and mystery shoppers; listening to complaints through our Customer Services platform, and sharing good and bad experiences by assisting and guiding our team to be the best at what they do. Through open communication, sharing and guidance we will be able to assist and train our staff to ensure that all our customers have the same outstanding rental experience on a national basis.
6. Service delivery – what is it to you and how will you transfer this to customers?
Service delivery is about making each customer rental experience pleasurable and memorable so that they always feel that First Car Rental cares about their needs and delivers high standards every time.
Expect the best and your employees will rise to that level. I firmly believe that employees model behaviour and will accept what we accept as the standard. Set the example for others and always remember, even when you don’t think someone notices… they do.
7. After a long winter and re-fleeting efforts starting, what will you do to put the purple passion & pride back into the operational staff ready for spring?
Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of coloured ribbon”…For me, this means giving our staff the opportunity to be proud of their work; rewarding team members publicly for a job well done, and to consistently provide guidance and assistance to those who have fallen behind. We have to ensure that our staff have clear guidelines in terms of our expectations and acknowledge them for their achievements.
8. Finally, what is your commitment and message to First Car Rental fans and can they hold you to it?
My commitment to all our fans and renters, hopefully one and the same, is to ensure that our staff members are well trained not only in skills but also understand and fully commit to First Car Rental’s strategic desire to be the leading car rental company in South Africa and beyond. We are first in car hire, first in service and to settle for nothing less than being the best in both. I commit this to each and every one of our customers.
Yours First in Service
National Operations Manager