Delivering a quality mobile experience matters now more than it ever has before to the travel industry.
While all travel companies’ are not created equal, there is one constant that is found across the board: customer expectations keep rising. And mobile is a huge differentiator right now for these companies. There is no question that mobile technology makes it convenient for travelers to research and book travel plans. But, are they satisfied with the experiences companies provide through mobile sites and apps?
The ForeSee Mobile Satisfaction Index: Travel Edition explores this question, providing customer satisfaction scores for the mobile experiences, including phones and tablets, offered by 25 of the largest (by revenue) U.S. mobile travel-related sites and apps in the following five categories:
- Airlines: Southwest, American, Delta, United, and US Airways
- Car Rental: Avis, Enterprise, Budget, Hertz, and Dollar
- Hotels: Choice, Marriott International, Hyatt, Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, Starwood Hotels & Resorts International, and Best Western International
- Online Travel Agencies (OTA): Kayak, Travelocity, Expedia, Priceline, Hotels.com, and Orbitz
- Train: Amtrak is the lone train operator measured in this study
Critical findings emerging from the research include:
- Overall: Southwest Airlines soars above all companies in this study with a score of 82 on the study’s 100-point scale, well above both average mobile satisfaction for airlines (77) and average mobile satisfaction for all travel companies measured in this study (77).
- Hotels Rise Above: On average, hotels provide a better mobile experience than other travel categories, scoring a 78, while OTAs score the lowest with a 76. Hotels record the highest satisfaction for mobile users who come to book (81).
- Bookers Better Lookers: Bookers (visitors looking to purchase tickets or make reservations) have higher satisfaction (79) than lookers (visitors researching travel and investigating options) who score a 77. Learn why this is an important finding.
- App vs. Mobile Sites: While fewer customers use mobile apps, they are generally more satisfied (78) with their mobile travel experience than those who use a mobile site (77). App users have exhibited a minor loyalty behavior simply by downloading the app. So, why is their satisfaction not much higher?
- The Stars Don’t Align: We now know that app store star ratings do not tell much. The feedback provided by tracking how many stars an app gets in an app store is questionable at best and provides no direction or insight as to how a company might improve the customer’s experience.
- Location, Location, Location: In mobile travel, the reality of where customers are when they are using mobile cannot be ignored. More than 70% of mobile users are booking from the comfort of their own homes. Only about 12% of app and site users combined say they are on the go when they are booking.