PEOPLE ARE LESS SATISFIED WITH ONLINE TRAVEL COMPANIES

Denise Chen - Mar 4, 2013
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According to a customer satisfaction survey many travel companies lag behind their fellow e-commerce brokerages and retailers when it comes to delivering positive consumer experience.

The customer satisfaction with online travel companies had fell from 2.6% to 76, which is the steepest decline for all measured categories, according to American Customer Satisfaction's annual e-Commerce report. A score that went 80 or higher was considered solid, said Larry Freed who is the CEO of analytics Foresee and author of the report.

The index was founded at University of Michigan. It measures around 70,000 customer evaluations through products and services of more than 230 different companies in over 47 U.S. industries. The satisfaction with e-commerce sites overall continue to rise, increasing 1.2% to 81.1. This improvement within the e-commerce sector includes online brokerage, retail, and even travel categories, plus they have been driven by strong performances from smaller e-brokerages and e-retailers.

The entire online travel industry has "continued to really be anyone's game," according to survey notes, which only had two points separating the measured companies in the business. Expedia (-1%), Orbitz (zero change), while the "all others" category (-4%) in the lead of e-travel with a decent score of 76. The Travelocity fell from 5% to 75 right after leading the Index last year. Though the gap from Priceline and other industry leaders is the narrowest since 2002, when the travel category was first included, the company still remained lowest of groups (from 3% to 74).

"From average consumer's perceptions, there's really little differentiation from online travel companies," said Freed. "Airlines and hotels are trying to assert a lot more control on their relationships with customers, fragmenting the Internet experience and doing way more harm compared to goods in short times."

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