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Andrew leads our Operational Team and is our expert when it comes to all the ins and outs of car hire excess insurance.
J.D. Power released their 2012 Rental Car Satisfaction Survey, not only did Enterprise win, their sister brands National and Alamo took second and third places so Enterprise Holdings took the top three positions in the survey.
The study, which as now been running for 17 years, was based on over 12,000 responses gathered between October 2011 and August 2012 from airport locations. They score six areas for satisfaction: costs and fees (ranked most important); pick-up process; return process; rental car; shuttle bus/van; and reservation process.
Overall satisfaction is ranked on a 1,000 point scale with the average in 2012 being the highest ever at 769 points, up from 758 last year. The greatest improvements were for shuttle bus services and cost and fees. The average for reservation process fell by 1 point from 2011.
Stuart Greif, vice president of the travel practice at J.D. Power said: "The rental car industry continues to step up its game, building on improvements in the rental car customer experience made over the past several years, while also benefiting from higher satisfaction levels with cost and fees relative to prior years.”
The study showed that business customers tended to be more critical and scored lower than leisure/personal customers but were more loyal to a brand.
Surprisingly, leisure customers were often more satisfied with costs and fees, despite the fact that they were paying out of their own pockets. This was attributed to the tendency for leisure customers to shop around and get the best deal. Having done so, of course they're likely to be more pleased with the result.
The study found enormous differences in satisfaction levels based upon whether they were greeted with a smile at the counter. The average satisfaction score dropped by nearly 150 points if there was no smile. Whether this was down to the psychology of connecting with a human, or whether the smiles might have reflected genuinely happy employees knowing they were doing a good job in a good company wasn't analysed!
If you are looking to rent a car, please take a look a MoneyMaxim's car hire hub and if it all gets too much, pick up the phone and connect with a real smiling human!