Hotel booking and holiday camp websites rate highest for customer satisfaction

Haven has topped the latest eTravel customer satisfaction benchmark by eDigitalResearch. The holiday camp specialist scored 84.5%, the highest rating since November 2009.

Users rated highly the interactive search features on the Haven website and found the homepage appealing and easy to navigate.

Virgin Atlantic made the biggest improvement in the overall league table, jumping 21 places and leap-frogging close competitors thanks to a much more responsive telephone customer contact.

Hoseasons, and First Choice complete the top five. Hotel booking agents and holiday camp operators once again dominate the top of the league tables.

Users liked the comprehensive search tools and felt reassured by the amount of information on offer.

But hotel chains remain bottom in the sector averages, with most sites often neglecting their telephone and email customer service and failing to integrate customer reviews.

Covering more than 50 sites, the study highlighted the poor level of telephone and email customer service experienced by customers.

Those sites that fell drastically in the latest results did so because of a drop in satisfaction with customer contact, something travel firms need to ensure they improve if they are to encourage more online bookings, according to eDigitalResearch.

A supporting consumer study found that, despite recent press coverage surrounding the legitimacy and nature of customer reviews, 75% of consumer still think that the majority are ‘mostly genuine’, while 61% would be more likely to make a booking after reading a positive review.

The research also found destination remains a top priority in the holiday decision process.

“It is therefore vital that sites include content such as destination guides, videos and multiple images to really inspire customers and increase booking rates,” the company said.

Research director Derek Eccleston said: “This is an exciting yet crucial time for the travel industry.

“Another recent study from eDigitalResearch found that online and mobile is becoming increasingly more important for UK travellers, signalling to travel companies the importance of having a strong online presence.

“The eTravel Benchmark results have often shown over the years that those brands that invest in their websites and offer a bit of ‘inspiration’ with interactive features and richer content, as well as support customers with a responsive and helpful telephone and email customer service repeatedly perform better than their rivals.”

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