Hilton.com has emerged top of a user-experience survey of hotel websites for second year in succession.
Research by customer-experience specialist Global Reviews found Hilton.com provided the best overall experience, while Hotels.com and Express by Holiday Inn were judged best when it came to hotel selection and the booking process.
Global Reviews measures the experience of users on leading hotel sites, including those of Travelodge, Ibis and Premier Inn. Sites are assessed against more than 500 criteria such as usability, customer support, online content and tools.
Hilton scored 61% for user experience, followed by hotels.com with 54%, Ibis with 50%, Express by Holiday Inn with 48%, Travelodge 47% and Premier Inn 43%.
Most companies improved on their rating in the 2008 benchmark study, with Travelodge rising from 38% to 47% and Premier Inn from 36% to 43%. While Travelodge and Premier Inn receive large proportions of business via the web, they score lower on customer experience because of the transactional nature of the sites.
Global Reviews director Bertie Stevenson said: “We have set 55% as a pass mark. For the brands that sit on the edge and don’t do so well, it’s because they don’t need to. A brand like Hilton needs to demonstrate its value proposition and sell the emotional side.”
Stevenson advised hotels lacking large online budgets to focus on getting customers to pick up the phone or send an email to make a booking.