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Avis simplifies to improve loyalty

Date: 23 August 2006

Daily rental firm Avis has seen a 300% improvement in customer loyalty rating thanks to its Inspired Change programme started earlier this year.

Inspired Change is Avis's policy of implementing customer suggestions for making renting a car simpler and more easily understood.

Speaking exclusively to Fleet Week, Avis managing director Stuart Gent said: "We carry out a monthly feedback survey and we've improved each month since we started Inspired Change nearly six months ago."

Gent also pointed out that on a different measure, customer satisfaction was up 20%.

Commenting on the future of the Inspired Change plan, Gent added: "Our Choice fleet will expand next year to offer a wider choice and combination of brand and specification. For example, we may offer a roofbox option."

Internally, Avis is also trying to simplify things by introducing a campaign to eliminate jargon. "If we use language that is jargon we have to put money in a 'swearbox' with the proceeds going to charity. And I have to admit that I've put a lot in," said Gent.

Meanwhile, he was hopeful that recent terror threats would not impact Avis's business: "It has the potential to have a dramatic effect. Anything along the lines of the recent news about threats to airlines that makes it harder to fly has an impact, but people are getting used to working like this."

He also pointed out that, due to the rise in popularity of low-cost airlines, passenger numbers are up.

The only downside Gent saw was the widely predicted rise in rental rates as more car makers cut back the number of cars they supply to rental firms.

"The value of rental for some car makers still makes sense, for others it is a paid-for test drive. But costs are going up, things like the minimum wage affect us highly. Prices are going up and it's a trend for the foreseeable future."

Tristan Young



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