Penske Drastically Reduces Customer No-Shows with AI Automation Strategy

Success by the Numbers

Faced with the ever-present challenge of streamlining the truck rental reservation management process, Penske deployed an AI-Powered Virtual Agent to confirm, change, and cancel reservations through both proactive voice calls and text messages.

Success rate on
voice confirmations
Success rate on
text confirmations
Additional Reservations
confirmed per month


  • Reduce customer no-shows that cause downstream operational issues
  • Decrease agent time spent making thousands of outbound reservation confirmation calls per month


  • Outbound confirmation requests through both proactive voice calls and text messages
  • Conversational reservation management including reschedules and cancellations


  • 35% of calls result in successful reservation confirmation, change, or cancellation
  • 55% of text messages result in successful reservation confirmation, change, or cancellation
  • Over 1,000 additional confirmations secured per month
Penske is one of the largest providers of consumer and commercial truck rentals. Their trucks and equipment are reserved by customers who are moving and top brands who are filling out their fleet.

With more than 2,200 rental locations, 50,000 fleet vehicles, robust services, and a heavy focus on customer experience, Penske is the industry leader in truck rentals. With such a large network, fleet management is a major ongoing challenge. As a customer, it is no big deal to cancel a reservation last minute; but on the business side, there are many intricate details like timing, type of truck, additional equipment, and what other reservations exist. When customers no-show for reservations, it can set off a series of events that may affect several branches and future customers. For this reason, confirming reservations is a supremely important piece of the customer journey.


To reduce customer no-shows, Penske was relying on live agents to call customers to confirm appointments. This process proved time consuming and costly, driving Penske to evaluate options to leverage Conversational AI for self-service. Penske sought a partner who was capable of building a solution with advanced logic, context, and scheduling capabilities to ensure that any reservation changes or cancellations were completed the right way.


Penske partnered with SmartAction and developed an AI-Powered Virtual Agent that initiates calls and text messages to customers with upcoming truck rental reservations to confirm the date, time, and location of the pickup and drop-off. If correct, the Virtual Agent will confirm and update the record. If incorrect, the Virtual Agent will assist the customer in changing or cancelling their reservation.

Penske Drastically Reduces Customer No-Shows with AI Automation Strategy
“SmartAction has given us the flexibility to provide multiple communication options for our customers”

Director of Rental Contact Centers


As a result, Penske confirms over 1,000 additional reservations per month leading to a dramatic reduction in costly no-shows. Virtual Agent successfully confirms, changes, or cancels 35% of calls and 55% of text messages. Most importantly, Penske has recognized a better customer experience by providing a conversational path to self-service – without live agent involvement.

“Working with SmartAction has definitely been a positive experience for us.”Director of Rental Contact CentersPenske
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