Hilton tops website experience survey
3 September 2009
Hilton.com has come top of a survey of hotel websites for the second consecutive year. Independent research by customer-experience benchmarking company Global Reviews, reveals that the international hotelier remains No.1 in its ‘Comparing the Hotel Websites’ league table.
Global Reviews’ benchmark objectively measured the experience of users on six leading hotel websites; Travelodge, Ibis, Hilton, Express by Holiday Inn, Premier Inn and Hotels.com. The sites are assessed against more than 500 criteria including; the hotel selection process, booking process, customer support, online content and tools, and general site usability.
The study found that Hilton offers the best overall customer experience. However, hotel selection and the booking process are the two categories that are most important to customers, and in these areas, Hotels.com came top, closely followed by Express by Holiday Inn.
The costs involved in offering high quality online services can be prohibitively expensive for many hotels. And with a poor quality online booking process often being worse for a venue’s reputation than not offering it at all, Global Reviews has offered the following key advice to hotels without large online budgets:
Focus on encouraging visitors to your website to pick up the phone, or send an email to make a booking. This is something that does not require large budgets, and is much easier to ensure a good quality, more personalised experience.
Provide a central booking phone number, but also the contact details for individual hotels, and with personal details about the team at each hotel. This way your hotels are accessible, and customers can easily find the information they are looking for.
Bertie Stevenson, Director, Global Reviews, said, “Many hotels recognise the importance of the web and spend a lot of money trying to make it as accessible as possible for customers. This is the right thing for the big brands, with big budgets, as they can afford to do it well. However, if done badly, it can do more harm than good. Smaller hotel chains would be better spending their budgets on ensuring their website looks appealing to customers and is easily found by customers online, but then clearly directing visitors to their phone number to make bookings.”