Hertz is using IBM's business analytics software to improve customer satisfaction based on the analysis of customer feedback forms.
has announced that Hertz
Technologies, a leading provider of enterprise feedback solutions, are using IBM
analytics software to examine customer survey data including text messages to
better identify car and equipment rental performance levels.
At its Information
On Demand (IOD) conference
said Hertz is using IBM analytics software
for pinpointing and making the necessary adjustments to improve customer
Indeed, as the world's largest airport car rental brand with more than 8,300
locations in 146 countries, Hertz continually receives feedback from customers.
To retain its competitive edge, the feedback is analyzed so that real-time
identification of issues and rapid problem-solving solutions can be deployed.
"Hertz gathers an amazing amount of customer insight daily, including
thousands of comments from Web surveys, e-mails and text messages. We wanted to
leverage this insight at both the strategic level and the local level to drive
operational improvements," said Joe Eckroth, chief information officer at
Hertz, in a statement. "Working closely with the IBM-Mindshare
team, we are able to better focus on improvements that our customers care about
while removing a time-consuming burden from our location managers. This has
greatly improved the effectiveness of our 'Voice of the Customer' program and
has helped build on our reputation for delivering superior customer service."
software together with a sentiment-based tagging solution
from IBM business partner Mindshare
, Hertz introduced a "Voice of the Customer"
analytics system that automatically captures customer experiences in real time,
transforming the information into actionable intelligence. Using a series of
linguistic rules, Hertz's "Voice of the Customer" system categorizes
comments received via e-mail and online with descriptive terms such as Vehicle
Cleanliness, Staff Courtesy and Mechanical Issues. The system also flags
customers who request a callback from a manager or those who mention #1 Club
Gold, Hertz's customer loyalty program.
IBM officials said in the competitive
world of vehicle and equipment rental, Hertz recognizes that understanding
customer feedback and adapting the business accordingly is what drives market
share and success. However, most of this valuable information is trapped inside
free-form customer feedback surveys. Prior to working with IBM
and Mindshare Technologies, Hertz location managers read each customer comment
submitted online via e-mail or by phone and then manually categorized it for
basic reporting and analysis. This approach proved to be labor-intensive and
inconsistent, as comments were categorized based on a manager's personal
IBM content analytics software has
improved the accuracy and speed of the tagging and analyzing process, almost
double what had been achieved manually, setting the stage for more reliable
analytics. Free from manually tagging comments, Hertz field managers can now
focus attention on performing deep-dive analysis on the information, quickly
identifying trends or issues and adjusting operational service levels
accordingly, IBM said.
For instance, wait times at car rental locations can be a contentious issue.
The faster and more efficient the car rental and return process, the more
likely the customer will do repeat business. Using analytics software, Hertz
location managers are able to effectively monitor customer comments to deliver
top customer satisfaction scores for this critical level of service, IBM
In Philadelphia, for example, survey
feedback led managers to discover that delays were occurring at the returns
area during certain parts of the day. They quickly adjusted staffing levels and
ensured a manager was always present in the area during these specific times.
The Internet and new social media technologies have made consumers more
connected, empowered and demanding. The average online user is three times more
likely to trust peer opinions over retailer advertising, underlining the
importance for retailers to tap new technologies that pay close attention to
what customers are saying.