Enterprise prides itself on going well beyond the expected when it comes to customer service. One of its founding principles is that satisfied customers drive business growth. The tag line “We’ll pick you up” means just what it says, for instance, even though bringing rental cars to customers can present special scheduling challenges for employees. Everyone at Enterprise knows, however, that because the firm dedicates itself to the local market, customers are not likely to be the anonymous business travellers passing through airports who make up competitors’ customer bases. They are people in the neighbourhood who will be coming back to rent another car if they are satisfied or go elsewhere if they are not.

High customer-satisfaction ratings are a prerequisite for employee promotions, and if ratings for a branch fail below the corporate average, no one at that branch can be promoted until the score improves. However, customer satisfaction is not the only performance criterion at Enterprise. Additionally, nearly everyone in the firm is paid compensation that is tied to profits. Thus, employees are challenged to make a profit while pleasing customers. Enterprise also looks after its business customers. To insurance companies like GEICO that link their claims systems to Enterprise’s automated car-rental system, the firm provides access to real-time reservation information. That, in turn, allows insurers to offer their customers a valuable service and makes them look good, keeping them happy with Enterprise so they keep coming back.


1. Like all service firms, Enterprise must adapt to the characteristics of intangibility, inseparability, heterogeneity, and perishability.

a. What elements of Enterprise’s marketing strategy reflect a sensitivity to these characteristics)

b. What else could Enterprise do to adapt to these characteristics of services?

2. Should Enterprise change its marketing efforts if it decides to pursue other auto-rental market segments, such as business travellers at airports, to a greater extent than it has?



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