Hotels.com best for customer experience
In the 2012 Hotel Reservation study Hotels.com took first place for Overall Customer Experience, while in the Technical Quality portion of the study Priceline.com scored first for Reliability and Hilton.com took first for Responsiveness (Speed).
Winners of Keynote Competitive Research studies are invited to participate in the company's Online Excellence Program which recognizes the "best of the best" websites as ranked in the studies.
The rankings are based on responses from real users, who were observed as they accomplished tasks on each of the sites studied, as well as real data collected through Keynote website monitoring to assess the technical quality of the sites. For each study, Keynote recognizes the companies with the overall top ranking, as well as those exhibiting excellence in specific categories.
For the Customer Experience portion of the study, Keynote observed and conducted online interviews with 1,803 online adults as they interacted with the websites of a total of nine leading hotel reservation websites: Expedia, Hilton, Hotels.com, Hyatt, Marriott, Orbitz, Priceline, Sheraton and Travelocity. Each study participant had used the Web to research and/or book hotel accommodations in the past and were planning to use the Web to research and/or book hotel accommodations again within the next 12 months.
For the 'Technical Quality' portion of the study, Keynote performed 5,000 total measurements for each site, for a total of 45,000 total measurements, from 12 locations in the U.S. The data was collected every day over a one month period during the websites' peak period (8:00 AM-Midnight)(8:EST.)(8:Monday-Sunday).
Keynote Competitive Research produces leading industry research using the company's commercially available Web performance monitoring and real user experience testing products. Keynote regularly evaluates the current state of online customer experience, technical quality (responsiveness/reliability) and implementation of best practices on leading websites across a wide variety of vertical markets including financial services, automotive, media/entertainment, retail, travel and technology.
The study revealed that when tested by online users, Hotels.com offers the strongest Overall Customer Experience. Other key findings include:
In addition to Price Satisfaction, Ease of Booking, Organization & Visual Appeal, Other Travel Services Satisfaction, Hotel Availability, and Perceived Performance predicted brand and conversion metrics;
While OTA's fared better overall than supplier sites in Keynote's Customer Experience rankings, suppliers fared best in Ease of Booking, Organization and Visual Appeal, and were more likely to be associated with the positive attributes of being "Trustworthy," "Reliable," and "High Quality."
"While the OTAs fared better with consumers than did the suppliers, they had different strengths," said Chris Musto, general manager of the Keynote Competitive Research group at Keynote. "Hotels.com achieved strong business outcomes in this study by combining the ease of use found at the top supplier sites with the price satisfaction and hotel availability found at OTAs."