Overall North American customer satisfaction with rental cars has returned to pre-recession levels after declining to lower levels during the past two years, according to [pdf] the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study.
Overall Satisfaction Rises 17 Points
Overall satisfaction averages 750 on a 1,000-point scale in 2010, improving from 733 in 2009 and 734 in 2008. Satisfaction with the reservation process; pick-up process; shuttle bus/van; and costs and fees have achieved three-year highs. Each of the rental car companies included in the study has improved in 2010, compared with 2009.
Furthermore, incidence of reported problems has decreased to 9% in 2010, compared with 11% in 2009. Vehicle pick-up and billing are the areas with the highest rates of reported problems.
Enterprise Wins Again
Enterprise ranks highest in customer satisfaction among rental car companies for a seventh consecutive year and performs particularly well in all six factors. Enterprise is followed in the rankings by National and Hertz, respectively.
Loyalty, Advocacy Make Gains
In addition to increased satisfaction with rental car companies in 2010, customer loyalty and advocacy have also improved from 2009. In 2010, one-third of business travelers and 28% of leisure travelers indicate they “definitely will” rent from the same brand again–marking increases of 2% and 5%, respectively, from 2009.
Advocacy rates have increased by 3% among business travelers and 6% among leisure travelers from 2009. In 2010, 30% of travelers in both groups say they “definitely will” recommend their rental car company.
Overall Dealer Service Satisfaction Grows
Another recent J.D. Power automotive industry study finds that overall satisfaction with dealer service has increased from 761 in 2009 to 767 in 2010, marking the 10th consecutive year of industry-wide improvement.
Notable improvements are demonstrated in the service facility and service quality measures in 2010, compared with 2009. In particular, satisfaction has increased in the following areas: ease of driving in and out of dealer facilities; convenience of parking; thoroughness of the work performed; the total time required to complete service on the vehicle; flexibility of accommodating the customer schedules; and thoroughness of explanations.
Several other time-related metrics have improved from 2009, including customer ability to get a service appointment on the same day as their initial inquiry call and service being completed the day that the vehicle was brought in for service.
About the Data: The 2010 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study is based on more than 11,500 evaluations from business and leisure travelers who rented a vehicle at an airport location within the previous 30 days. The study, published by J.D. Power & Associates and the source of the enclosed chart, was fielded between October 2009 and September 2010.