Page 5: Costs and benefits analysis
In deciding whether to carry out a business action it is helpful to weigh up the costs and benefits.
One major element of cost for Enterprise is the time, effort and cost needed to collect the survey information and to publish it. The survey is done by a third-party independent company and is all telephone based. This consists of more than two million customer contacts each year and therefore has significant cost. However, the data is very simple to collect and to analyse and the results add real value to Enterprise. The benefits easily outweigh the costs.
One outcome of focusing on the ESQi model of customer service to drive the business was the dissatisfaction of some of the older managers. In the 1990s managers were rewarded according to the profits made by their unit. However, their unit might have been profitable simply because it was based in a good location. The profit might have been higher if they had focused on customer satisfaction, which everyone has to do today.
There are all sorts of benefits to be gained from high levels of customer service. All these factors lead to higher profitability and growth of the business.
Why does ESQi work so well?
The ESQi survey concentrates on those aspects of customer satisfaction which are very positive. Adopting this approach produces great results for Enterprise. ESQi works well because it helps frontline managers to pursue two objectives:
- to get more top-box ratings
- to get fewer scores of neutral or worse.
Enterprise learned that by using this improvement tool it could achieve better service consistency. It also supported the desire of people working in the branches to be entrepreneurial, that is, to have ideas of their own to improve service.
Concentrating on customer satisfaction helped Enterprise to achieve healthy growth in international markets in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Canada. It also helped the company to be successful in new business segments including on-airport rentals and, in the USA, in commercial truck rental, car sales and leasing.