Dear Enterprise, customer service begins on the web

Enterprise Rent-A-Car's advertisments are undermined by their poor website - creating mis-trust

Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s advertisments are undermined by their poor website

Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s UK website is driving (geddit?) customers away from their rental service. I know because I attempted to use it.

Please note: The team behind enterprise.co.uk surely know how poor it is (and their efforts are probably hampered by an old CMS or some similar situation). This quick blog post is meant to be constructive criticism, based on my frustrating experience trying to reserve a car online.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s TV adverts derive their humour from emphasising the differences between the exuberant American customer representative and the more straight-laced but sensible / trustworthy British representative. The message is clear: At Enterprise, us customers get the best of both worlds; USA-style “can’t-do-enough-for-you” customer service combined with solid British reliability.


In the video above, the actor says: “we’ve made the [rental process] as simple as possible”.

The problem is: The adverts’ messages are undermined by the terrible enterprise.co.uk website – the online booking process is not as “simple as possible”.

The disconnect between ad and website is so great that it unsettles potential customers. I, for one, couldn’t believe that the company that stands behind those adverts (with their good production values and focus on customer service) would allow themselves to be represented by such a poor website / user experience.

Then, if the potential customer isn’t turned away by negative first impressions, the car-booking process is unnecessarily difficult.

Today I attempted to rent a car from enterprise.co.uk. My quick observations include:

1) The website looks terrible / outdated / cramped (which means potential customers are less likely to trust it & less likely to hand over money)

The Enterprise UK website

The Enterprise UK website

2) The website doesn’t do “user onboarding” – E.g. I tried to select a car to pay for, and then register as a customer. But the website kept kicking me out / sending me into a loop when I tried to reserve a car this way.

3) So, I have to register as a customer before reserving a car? I think so – but the website is not clear about this. There’s something called “Enterprise Plus™” – which is the registration system? But is it just a corporate programme? More uncertainty. More potential customers lost from the funnel.

4) The Enterprise Plus registration form has outdated requirements – for “home” phone number etc.

5) Too many dead / confusing pages. E.g. When booking, “The renter must meet the Licence, Documents, Payment and Age Requirements in order to hire the vehicle”. But the link to that “important” page leads to this dead end:

An "important" page on the website

An “important” page on the website

In conclusion:

Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s UK website is sub-optimal and is damaging their business.
It’s 2015. Customer service begins on the web, not just in the forecourt.

See also
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