There are lots of customer satisfaction surveys covering the car rental industry but none are held in such esteem as the J.D. Power Car Rental satisfaction survey. This will be the 5th year we’ve displayed the results of the survey on the U.S. Rent A Car blog but its been reviewing car rental satisfaction for over 18 years.
The survey is a great indication of how consumers view USA car hire and a great matrix for showing price v’s service. This year more than any other the old adage “you get what you pay for” has never rung so true, with car rental customers who based their choice on price were the least satisfied with the service they received.
- More than one-third (35%) of customers cite low price as a top reason for selecting their rental car company. Yet, overall satisfaction is lowest among customers who select based on price (756 on a 1,000-point scale). In comparison, overall satisfaction among customers who choose a rental car company based on good customer service is highest (828).
- Overall customer satisfaction with their rental car experience averages 775 in 2013, a six-point increase from 2012 and the highest satisfaction score since the study’s current methodology was adopted in 2006.
- Customers on personal or leisure travel are slightly more satisfied, on average, than are business customers (777 vs. 771, respectively). Personal or leisure customers are more satisfied than are business customers across all factors except the pick-up process.
- A critical factor associated with rental car satisfaction is expediency of pick up. Among the 20 percent of customers who use a counter bypass service, satisfaction with the pick-up process averages 820 compared with 770 for those that use the rental counter.
- A smile from the rental car staff can have a huge impact on overall satisfaction. Overall satisfaction among customers greeted with a smile from one member of a rental car company’s staff is 58 points higher than among those not greeted with a smile (693 vs. 635, respectively). Satisfaction among customers greeted with a smile by four staff members is 200 points higher than among those not greeted with a smile (835 vs. 635, respectively).
- National ranks highest in customer satisfaction among rental car companies, with a score of 809, performing particularly well across all six factors. Enterprise ranks second with a score of 799, followed by Alamo with 782.
A few things need to be remembered when looking at these stat’s. Firstly they are purely based on domestic customers the way a domestic customer is serviced is totally different to inbound customers, secondly all the suppliers that appeared under the top 3 all secured higher marks than the previous year and thirdly with Hertz purchasing Dollar Thrifty and four of last years entries not even making the survey due to low samples the industry average is misleadingly high.
However even with that taken into consideration its still a great result for Enterprise, congratulation to their team who I know work extremely hard.