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Travelocity officials have long said that its brand punches above its weight with consumers, and the J.D. Power survey bears that out. Still, Travelocity’s top marks are somewhat ironic because for the last few months Expedia has been providing Travelocity with customer service and technology.
Travelocity is tops. That’s one of the results from the J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey, released Wednesday, that gauges how well online travel agencies are doing in customers’ eyes.
The J.D. Power study asked 2,673 people who had bought a travel product in the last year what they thought about their experience. It measured whether the site met their expectations on price, which was the most important factor.
The Power study also delved into how well the website met customer expectations — its navigation, whether its information helped and other factors, including customer service.
On a 1,000-point scale, online travel agencies, or OTAs, scored 788; Travelocity scored 804.
Expedia.com ranked second at 798 and Booking just a point behind that. Hotwire and Priceline, travel websites that, in some instances, allow customers to bid on travel products and thus mask the name of the travel provider, were neck and neck with 795 and 792, respectively. They are followed by CheapTickets.com and, Hotels.com (both 783), Orbitz.com (779) and CheapoAir.com (774).
Customers look to those online travel agencies to be competitive on price. They are searching most of all for hotels and flights; a third of them are looking for vacation packages and 31% for rental cars.
Resolving customer service issues is important to them. People who use an OTA do so, J.D. Power said, because of price and because there’s minimal interaction with a live person.
Eighteen percent of respondents said they had a problem with their transaction, which reduced their satisfaction by almost 6%. If the problem was fixed, their satisfaction was only 4 points below the overall satisfaction score.