U.S.-based consumer lobby group Elliott Advocacy, geared towards the travel and hospitality industries, selected Enterprise as the top car rental company of 2018 in its annual customer service survey. Hertz, Budget, Alamo and National rounded out the top five based on balloting conducted by Elliott in November and December of 2018.
Earlier in February, Enterprise won five customer service awards facilitated by TravAlliance Media. At a ceremony held in St. Louis the company took home top honors in the overall, domestic, luxury/exotic fleet and website categories and placed second in the international group.
Car rentals was one of 16 industries assessed by Elliott, which asked its reader shop to use principles of honesty, fairness and respect during the balloting process. Winners in some of the other categories included Southwest Airlines (best domestic airline), Virgin Atlantic (best international airline), Royal Caribbean (best cruise line), Marriott (best hotel), best online travel agency (TripAdvisor), best theme park (Disney World’s Epcot) and vacation rental (Airbnb.com).
“Consumer advocacy is a thankless job that only earns you the scorn of an industry,” said the organization on its website regarding the motive for an awards initiative. “But the Readers’ Choice Award is no beauty contest. You nominate the companies and you vote for the winners — and you can use the results to make smarter buying decisions.”
Elliott claims to stand by the winners selected in its 14th annual survey, stating it’s a public service to its readership. The organization adds that those who made the list are less likely to scam or take advantage of customers than competitors that didn’t crack the top five, and that its audience can use the list to plan their trips more carefully.
The Advocacy group might be on to a good thing. While company focus on technology tends to get more attention in the media, a recent piece by Forbes stressed that customer service should still be a top priority among businesses wanting to grow. The publication pointed to a 2017 American Express study that cited roughly 70 percent of consumers in the U.S. did more business with companies that staked their reputations on delivering top-notch customer service.
Founded in 1997 by business writer Christopher Elliot, the organization endeavors to provide information to readers to solve their problems associated with consumerism and help those who lack the resources to do it themselves. Besides writing columns for USA Today and the Washington Post, Elliott has also written several books, including ‘How To Be The World’s Smartest Traveler’, published by National Geographic.
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