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Customer & Employee Satisfaction in Repeat Retail Transactions

A WCAI Research Opportunity sponsored by Hertz
View a pdf of the webinar presentation.

The Wharton Customer Analytics Initiative is pleased to announce a truly unique and comprehensive new data set from the Hertz Corporation, a world leader in retail rental cars and equipment. This data set includes employee engagement surveys linked to Hertz locations in the US and Canada, transactions of rental cars in those locations, and customer satisfaction surveys for those transactions. All of this data is longitudinal over a 2 year window, providing opportunities for research from a variety of different angles. Studies of organizational behavior, customer loyalty & engagement, geographic retail transactions, upselling/add-on behavior, and customer segmentation are all are possible in this rich and detailed data set. The data includes:

  • over 68,000 responses to a semi-annual employee engagement survey
  • over 3,000 rental locations in US and Canada, all uniquely identified across data
  • over 900,000 responses to a post-transaction customer satisfaction survey with detailed transaction data for the corresponding rental, distributed over the 2 year window
  • 2-year transaction histories for more than 25% of the customers (9.8 million transactions)

Hertz encourages research proposals that use this data to understand the interplay of employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and customer purchase behavior (e.g. repeat purchase, "add-on" purchases, and/or willingness to pay a higher price); in addition to the dynamic interplay of airport and off-airport rental transactions. Proposals for modeling, forecasting, or predicting customer/employee behavior are welcome, particularly practical, cutting-edge, and operationalizable solutions.

A committee including representatives from the program sponsor, Gene Anderson (Miami), Adam Grant (Wharton), Eric Bradlow (Wharton), Pete Fader (Wharton), and Elea McDonnell Feit (WCAI) selected the teams to receive the data.


  • A Management Performance System that Measures, Compares and Explains Performance in Companies with Numerous Business Units
    Udo Rauber, Goethe University Frankfurt
    Shuba Srinivasan, School of Management, Boston University
    Bernd Skiera, Goethe University Frankfurt
  • Feedback Dynamics in Car Rental Sales: Modeling Inter-linkages Between Employee Engagement, Productivity and Customer Loyalty
    Ahmed Khwaja, Yale School of Management
    Nathan Yang, Yale School of Management
  • Delightful or Dependable? Variability of Customer Experiences as a Predictor of Customer Value
    Yanliu Huang, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University
    George Knox, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University
    Daniel Korschun, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University
  • Does Employee Engagement Lead to Higher Customer Satisfaction and Spending?
    Anocha Aribarg, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
    Jihoon Cho, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
    Puneet Manchanda, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
  • How Dynamic Customer Satisfaction and Employee Satisfaction Shape Firm Performance?
    Liwu Hsu, University of Alabama in Huntsville
    Timothy D. Landry, University of Alabama in Huntsville
    Elten D. Briggs, University of Texas at Arlington
  • Improving Sales through Investment in Resources: Examining Accumulation Effects of Employee Engagement on Sales Outcomes
    Jonathon Halbesleben, University of Alabama
    Adam Rapp, University of Alabama
    Matthew R. Leon, University of Alabama
    James M. Andzulis, University of Alabama
  • Is enthusiasm contagious? How managerial attitudes and customer attitudes and behavior affect employee engagement (and vice versa)
    Mindy E. Bergman, Texas A&M University
    Justin K. Benzer, Boston University
  • Modeling the Impact of Reservation Time on Upselling: When to Offer Upgrading, to Which Customers
    Hubert Gatignon, INSEAD
    Dai Yao, INSEAD
    Haiyang Yang, INSEAD
  • No Response is also a Response: Predicting Retail Transactions based on Customer and Employee Satisfaction
    SurveysYi Qian, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
    Ulf Bockenholt, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
  • Competition, Customer Satisfaction and the Value of the Customers: A Dynamic Approach
    Jian Ni, Johns Hopkins University
    Qiaowei Shen, University of Pennsylvania
    Ting Zhu, University of British Columbia
  • Special Student Team:
    Applying spatial variation analysis to customer data from off-airport rental locations in order to assess dual-use HERC and RAC opportunities for Hertz
    Jason Albert, EMTM, University of Pennsylvania
    Patrick Esmonde, EMTM, University of Pennsylvania
    Altaf Kazi, EMTM, University of Pennsylvania
    Advisor: Lyle H. Ungar, University of Pennsylvania

*Please note: The Research Opportunity webinars are posted here for a research-focused audience and should not be quoted, paraphrased or otherwise utilized without written permission of WCAI. Any media inquiries or requests for quotes about the projects should be directed to