New research proves that when travel companies improve the experience of their customers online, they can see a significant increase in sales.

Global Reviews, the customer experience benchmarking company, surveyed 1,000 people to find out which websites they used to research and buy their last holiday. It then compared the conversion rate to the scores the companies received in the Global Reviews Customer Experience Benchmark and found they were directly related.

Expedia came top of the customer experience league table with a score of 59%. The study found that it also came top of the conversion rate league with more than half of the visitors to Expedia (52%) going on to buy.

Lastminute came second in the league table with a score of 54% and its conversion rate was found to be 43%. Ebookers scored 52% in the benchmark and 37% of its visitors went on to buy. Opodo scored 49% and 30% of its customers went on to buy.

Global Reviews created the Benchmark by asking consumers what they want from a travel website. It then looked at the best websites globally to create a benchmark of best practice with over 950 objective criteria, including the content and tools available online and the quality of the search and booking processes for flights, hotels and packages.

Many companies refer to “Customer Experience” but Global Reviews has been able to show that what it measures in its Customer Experience Benchmark correlates with conversion. By improving their score on the Benchmark, reacting to the negative criteria discovered in the 950-point review, companies can see tangible returns.

Bertie Stevenson, Director, Global Reviews, said, “These results indicate that the quality of the customers’ online experience is directly related to the online conversion rate. Companies that accurately measure and improve their customers’ online experience will see a significant increase in sales.”

All of the websites received good scores for the booking online, the help available online and overall website navigation. Lastminute and ebookers scored over 80% for their error management system which helps customers through the booking system.

For media inquiries please contact;

Catherine Roan
07801 817 451
Cath.roan@globalreviews.co.uk

Notes to Editors
Global Reviews measures and improves the customer experience of it clients with offices in Australia and the United Kingdom. Clients include Norwich Union, Direct Line, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Halifax, Three, Travelodge and Mercedes. The company benchmarks websites across over 40 industries and provides actionable recommendations to improve customer acquisition and boost retention. More information about Global Reviews is available at www.globalreviews.co.uk.

Published on: 12:00AM on 9th December 2008