More than 30 percent of those who rented a car at or near an airport indicated a problem with their experience, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2000 Domestic Airport Rental Car Customer Satisfaction Study(SM) released today. This represents an increase of 15 percent in reported problems over 1999 study results.
The most common problems reported to rental car companies deal with billing, the pick-up process and mechanical difficulties. Failure to correct a reported problem causes a significant 23 percent decline in overall satisfaction. The study results indicate that only 43 percent of problems are actually reported to rental car companies, and of these problems, 62 percent are resolved.
Enterprise leads the industry in resolving customer complaints (81 percent) and also ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction with rentals at or near an airport. In recent years, Enterprise — a dominant player in the rental car replacement and personal-use segments — has expanded into the airport segment. Avis ranks a close second in overall customer satisfaction, with National and Hertz finishing above industry average.
“Both Enterprise and Avis demonstrated solid customer satisfaction performance in the study,” said Michael Taylor, director of travel services at J.D. Power and Associates. “Enterprise’s lead is due to its narrow advantage in the pick-up process and strong showing in the rental car pricing factor, which put it in the forefront.”
According to respondents, the rental car pick-up process continues to be the single most important factor contributing to overall satisfaction, followed by the return process, rental car rates and value, the condition of the rental car and the reservation process.
The at- or near-airport rental car segment continues to be dominated by the leisure traveler — 64 percent of rentals are for leisure and 35 percent are for business purposes. However, the most critical issues to customer satisfaction in either case, especially when associated with scheduled air travel, are speed, ease and convenience.
The study also shows that satisfaction with the overall rental car experience and loyalty to a rental car company drops significantly when customers must wait 20 minutes or more at any one point in the process. Customers, on average, wait 10 minutes to be picked up by a shuttle bus enroute to the rental car counter, 13 minutes at the counter, six minutes to return a car and seven minutes for a shuttle bus back to the airport.
“Speed and convenience are the key elements required to satisfy customers choosing a rental car company,” Taylor said. “With the growing demand for more immediate services, rental car companies that provide the highest levels of customer satisfaction in these areas are better aligned to differentiate themselves from the competition and gain market share. Our study shows that consumers will switch rental car companies if they are forced to wait too long.”
Respondents to the survey evaluated their most recent experience with renting a car from a location at or near an airport. Eight major rental car companies were included in the study — Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty. The study, which is based on 3,068 evaluations received from a random national sample of rental car customers, includes rental cars picked up or returned to locations at or near airports.
Headquartered in Agoura Hills, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services firm operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting and customer satisfaction. The firm’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on actual customer responses from millions of consumers annually. J.D. Power and Associates can be accessed through the Internet at www.jdpower.com. Media e-mail contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. This press release is provided for editorial use only. No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release or J.D. Power and Associates survey results without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates.
J.D. POWER and ASSOCIATES
2000 DOMESTIC AIRPORT RENTAL CAR
CUSTOMER SATISFACTION STUDY(SM)
Factors Driving Overall Satisfaction
(% Contribution To Overall Satisfaction)
Rental Car Pick-Up 35%
Rental Car Return 22%
Rental Car Rates/Value 21%
Rental Car Received 15%
Reservation Process 7%
Note:Due to low response, the Shuttle Bus and Company's Reputation
factors are excluded from the Index.
Overall Satisfaction Index Scores
Industry Average 100
Finishing below industry average, in alphabetical order, are: Alamo,
Budget, Dollar, Thrifty
Charts and graphs extracted from this press release must be accompanied by
a statement identifying J.D. Power and Associates as the publisher and the
J.D. Power and Associates 2000 Domestic Airport Rental Car Customer
Satisfaction Study(SM) as the source. No advertising or other promotional
use can be made of the information in this release or J.D. Power and
Associates survey results without the express prior written consent of
J.D. Power and Associates.