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AWARDS 2008 WINNER'S INTERVIEW: Enterprise Rent-a-car

Date: 14 August 2008

This year's BusinessCar Awards was the first time Enterprise won the daily rental prize. Tristan Young speaks to Don Moore, the company's vice president sales, Europe about its policy to "keep giving customers what they want"

Tristan Young: What does winning the BusinessCar Daily Rental Award mean to Enterprise?

Don Moore: It means a huge amount. The award was voted for by actual customers, who have always been the first and most important focus of our company. If they think we're doing a good job, that's pretty much all that matters.

What sets you apart from your competitors?

We'd like to think that it's primarily the quality of our employees and the service they offer. Our people know it's in their own best interest to create a memorable customer experience, because unlike in other rental firms they are judged on their customer satisfaction scores above all else. In fact, all our managers are only eligible for promotion if their scores are at or above the company average.

Services like our free delivery and collection also add to our uniqueness; so does the fact we have more locations than anyone else.

Will you be able to continue winning?

I hope so. We're not planning to rest on our laurels. The fleet market is always changing and we strive to keep offering innovative services and added value. The key is to keep giving customers what they want.

What changes have you implemented in the past 12 months?

We launched our environmental platform last year, combining reforestation and research into alternative fuels with a root-and-branch analysis of our rental fleet. We're confident our vehicles have, on average, better mpg and lower emissions than any of our competitors' fleets.

We've also significantly upgraded our online rental management platform called Arms. A lot of fleet customers use it to book and track rentals, as well as to analyse their vehicle usage and rental policy.

What impact is the internet having on your business?

Internet-based systems like Arms are changing the way organisations book and manage rentals and that will only continue. Again, we aim to offer what our fleet customers demand: most of them want to use online services.

How are customer demands changing?

The business car world is becoming a lot more focused on sustainability. More customers than ever before need us to demonstrate how we're lowering their emissions as well as their costs.

They also want consultancy on their entire transport policy, particularly among small fleets. It's not enough to just offer cars and vans any more.

How are you keeping up with this?

Our environmental platform puts us in a very strong position when it comes to demonstrating the sustainability of rental. We've also targeted those customers who are more likely to need a more consultative approach and trained our sales and account teams to offer just that.

How is the economic downturn affecting your business?

We haven't seen car rental prices go up recently, but costs have to increase. People have been saying that for a year or more, but there are other factors now, residual values for instance.

We buy cars, rather than lease them, meaning we can just keep cars for longer, so our rates will stay competitive. This means we will still grow our business.