Car Rental Industry: The Impact of Online Reputation Management

Reputation Staff Writer

Case Study: Car Rental Industry


The Challenge: In late 2012, an international car rental brand asked us to improve the online reputation of its locations and demonstrate the efficacy of our solution.

Methodology: We conducted a three-month trial from December 2012 to March 2013, comparing a group of pilot locations to a similar control group. Locations were spread across the United States, representing a broad selection of car rental markets.

Each pilot location was provided with our review management platform and an on-site review request kiosk. Control locations were monitored but did not receive access to the platform or kiosks. conducted a review generation email campaign on behalf of each of the pilot locations, contacting their customers following each rental and asking them to write a review of their experiences.

Results: The pilot group saw major improvements in review volume, review sentiment, and star average. The control group saw no significant change. As such, we were able to demonstrate the efficacy of our solution in improving the online reputation of auto rental businesses.

Key Findings

Proportion of Negative Reviews
Pilot ↓ 50%
Control ↓ 2%
Change in Average Star Rating
Pilot ↑  40%
Control ↑  3%
Change in Monthly Review Volume
Pilot ↑ 555%
Control ↑ 33%

Platform Details

Review sites targeted for pilot:

  • Google+
  • Yahoo! Local
  • Yellow Pages
  • Citysearch
  • Insider Pages platform key features:

  • Compiled reviews from all sites, updated in real time
  • Alerts for new negative reviews
  • Personalized email templates, based on best practices
  • Analytics, metrics, and reporting
  • On-site kiosks to collect customer feedback on site

Detailed Findings

Positive Impression on Consumers

  • Requesting reviews from customers significantly increases the proportion of new reviews that are positive.
  • Using an on-site review-request kiosk further augments the trend, by making it easier for customers to review.
  • Prospective customers see a much more positive image of the business when conducting research.

Projected Increase in Revenues

  • Pilot locations saw a significant increase in average rating, as compared to control locations.
  • Pilot locations crossed the perceptual 3.5 threshold from “below average” to “above average,” making consumers much more likely to consider the business.
  • The Harvard Business Review (Nov 2011) projects that increasing the average star rating by one star increases revenues by 5–9%.

Increased Local/Mobile Search Visibility

  • Pilot locations saw a marked increase in the average number of reviews per month, boosting the perceived relevance of their review profiles.
  • Search engines prioritize active review profiles and place them higher in the search results.
  • Consumers are more likely to find pilot locations, leading to increased search referrals and return on advertising/marketing investment.
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