Frictionless, not just for cars or lodging

Brendan Mulligan at Techcrunch recently wrote about reducing friction for things like car rental and lodging.  It also applies to bike rentals, and we don’t mean adjusting the brakes or greasing the bearings.  No what Brendan is referring to is the friction involved in selling a product or service.  The more you reduce the friction for your customer, the better experience he/she has and that’s important.
Using the format Brendan used, he shows us an example of a hailing a cab vs. using Uber.  The complete hassle and friction is reduced significantly in the Uber model.  Much like Uber, Velolet reduces friction for its bike rental customers versus your normal in-store bike rental process.

Here is generally what you need to do to get a bike rental at a shop:

  • Find a Bike: Search online in countless Google, Bing or Yahoo searches, drill down to the bike shops listed, search their site for anything that says bike rental and if there are no rentals, start the process over again.
  • Making a reservation: Call the bike shop.  Try to get the person in charge of bike rentals on the phone (sometimes a long wait as the bike rental person is either the owner or sales lead and they could be helping a customer.)
  • Pay and Waivers: When you arrive, fill out a waiver with all your details, provide a credit card for processing.
  • In store pickup: Wait until you arrive at the destination and hope your they have a bike in your size.  Wait sometimes up to 30min for them to “prep” your bicycle so and make adjustments so you can get your rental.

Here is the Velolet experience:

  • Find a Bike: Open Velolet website and search for bikes at your destination city. Filter your results to your size and put in your dates/time for pickup and drop off.  Bike are presented (many times with pictures) and you select one and proceed to payment with a single click.
  • Make Payment and process waiver: Secure reservation with credit card for EXACT bike and click online waiver.
  • In store pickup: Walk in to the store, provide reservation confirmation number.   Bike shop is aware through prior notification of bike reservation of the exact bike to prep and have ready.  Store manager, wheels out the bike and you’re on your way (sub 5 minutes)
Between the two processes, the old method can take significant time and effort (friction) and in the end, doesn’t really secure a reservation for anything.  With Velolet, your reservation, waivers, payment and EXACT bike are secured.  The bike shop also is given a heads up ahead of time so the bike is prepped and presented and they don’t have to handle any paperwork either.  Both parties (bike renter and bike owner) have just experienced a “frictionless” experience for bike rentals.
So, if you’re a bike shop and want to reduce the friction for your customers, come on over to Velolet and let us put a little grease on the bike rental process.  Your employees will be happy and for certain, your customers will too.
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