National Tops BTN Customer Service Survey

National Tops BTN Customer Service Survey

Competition between car rental top 5 tighter than ever before

Business Travel News has awarded National Car Rental top marks in its annual car rental survey, making it the fifth consecutive year that the company has landed the number-one spot. The corporation, which earned a rating of 4.38 out of five, based on tabulations of results submitted by more than 300 travel managers and travel procurement staffers.

National also edged Avis (4.29), Budget (4.23), Enterprise (4.21) and Hertz (4.05) in 11 customer service categories in which respondents had to rate each company on a zero-to-five scale, zero being poorest. The company cleaned up in eight of those categories including: negotiating price and amenities (4.39), quality of data and reporting (4.34), cost transparency during booking and payment (4.35), efficient transport to pickup/dropoff and efficient line (4.41), clean well-serviced cars (4.65), perks amenities and upgrades for VIPs (4.57), resolution of travel buyer and customer complaints (4.40), and overall value of services for cost (4.37).

Second-place Avis managed wins in travel buyer relationships with account managers and sales reps (4.32) and mobile app interface and capabilities (4.35), while third place Budget managed one category win for communication with buyers about changes (4.2). While Enterprise is without doubt the largest player in the global car-rental market, it failed to win in any categories. Also goose-egged was Hertz.

Most improved was Avis, which placed fourth last year in the survey. The company is attributing the results to its aggressive focus on technology, especially their apps, a strategy that was revealed at the International Car Rental Show in Las Vegas last April. The company also unveiled earlier in June its Split My Bill app function enabling the customer to make more flexible payments.

“Certainly, more than all the companies, Avis has spent time looking at this next generation of connected vehicles, recognizing that this business and industry is changing at an accelerating rate,” said Abrams Consulting Group president Neil Abrams about the results.

“Any company that is not spending on technology and evolving from legacy rental will be left in the dust,” added Beth Kinerk, the senior vice president of sales for the Avis Budget Group.

Enterprise, whose parent company Enterprise Holdings also owns National, didn’t reflect much concern over the survey results. It’s a long-term, growing business, and we do not necessarily have to do things in a quick way,” said Enterprise Holdings senior vice president Don Moore to BTN. “We can take time, investing and growing in certain areas.”

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