Magazine article CRM Magazine

Secret of My Success: Cendant Car Rental Group Chose Consultant Chadwick Martin Bailey to Gain Insight into Its Customers

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Secret of My Success: Cendant Car Rental Group Chose Consultant Chadwick Martin Bailey to Gain Insight into Its Customers

Article excerpt

* Why did you turn to a CRM consultancy?

We needed to segment our car rental users. Most of our CRM and branding were based on many years of tracking research in the car industry. While it was valuable, it was strictly behavioral. We knew a lot about our customers' car rental behavior, and we knew something about car rental behavior in the industry in general, but we didn't know nearly enough to effectively market and position our brands. In addition, in the end of 2002 Cendant bought Budget Rent-A-Car. We already owned Avis. We now had two entries into the car rental space, and [we] wanted to grow both companies in a relatively closed competitive environment. We needed to understand the dynamics of how customer decisions were made to make both companies grow at once and to figure out how to position our brands and marketing efforts. Specifically, we needed to define and maintain a loyalty strategy with both brands. Avis has had a lot of success in the area of customer loyalty. We wanted that customer loyalty to remain strong for Avis, but we were concerned that changing distribution channels would also change customer behavior. For example, Web sites like Orbitz and Expedia were changing the dynamics of car rental, such as how decisions were made and how customers behave. We needed to understand what motivated our customers to decide the way they decided.

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* How did you select a consultancy?

We conducted an elaborate RFP process. We talked to a lot of different consultancies and got a lot of different proposed solutions, ranging from pure research solutions to pure consulting solutions. Chadwick Martin Bailey (CMB) offered a lot of both, and that's something we really liked. What we also liked about CMB was that they were primarily researchers who had a thoughtful, open-ended approach to their research. We felt we weren't just hiring a consultant. From the beginning they were willing to approach our problems from multiple angles at once. They didn't approach it as, "Here is the study you want to do, now go do it." They thought of several different ways to come at the problems we wanted to solve.

* What advice or best practices did Chadwick Martin Bailey offer to help you better understand your customers?

CMB implemented a three-part strategic segmentation framework that mapped the current market positions of both of our brands and their competitors relative to preference-based segments. …

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