On Tuesday, April 26, Keynote Competitive Research announced the results of the Keynote Competitive Research Industry Study examining U.S. Rental Car Web sites. In the 2011 U.S. Rental Car Sites study Enterprise.com took first place for Best Overall Customer Experience and Thrifty.com came in first for Best Overall Technical Quality.
For the 'Customer Experience' portion of the study, Keynote observed and conducted online interviews with 2,000 prospective rental car customers as they interacted with the Web sites of 10 leading rental car reservation (200 people per site): Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Expedia, Hertz, Orbitz, Thrifty and Travelocity.
The participants were asked to go to the sites and think of a trip where they would need to rent a car. They were told to go as far as possible with the reservation without making a payment. Participants were also asked to utilize the sites' customer support features to find the answer to a question or problem they may have had when looking for a rental car. The study revealed that when tested by actual users Enterprise.com offers the strongest Overall Customer Experience, placing first in both Conversion Impact and Customer Satisfaction.
For the 'Technical Quality' portion of the study, using measurement computers located in 12 cities across the U.S., Keynote measured a typical transaction of searching for and reserving a rental car online. Each measured transaction began at the site's Home Page, searched for rental cars and ended at the reservation page that prompts the user to enter his/her personal information. Based on the thousands of transactions monitored over the course of the study, Thrifty.com set the standard for both Responsiveness (or speed), and Reliability, and was named the winner for Overall Technical Quality.
The complete study is available for purchase from Keynote at http://bit.ly/usrentalcarsites.