Tuesday, 10 March 2015
Virgin Australia is flying high after Australians named its website the best for online flight and travel bookings in Australia, a new study has found.
Six of Australia’s major flight websites were assessed in the innovative survey, with Virgin Australia’s site beating its online rivals from Qantas, Flight Centre, Webjet, AirAsia and Jetstar.
Virgin Australia’s site led in the categories of overall value, ease of navigation, and customer service and support.
The findings come from the 2014/2015 Travel Website Consumer Recommendation and Loyalty Study, conducted by Engaged Strategy, which surveyed more than 2,000 Australians under the Net Promoter Score framework.
Virgin Australia achieved the highest net promoter score of +15% (reflecting 15% more company promoters than detractors).
Virgin Australia also had the highest positive brand association (78%) and highest stated loyalty, which is the number of Australians would said they would use them again the next time an opportunity arose.
But Engaged Strategy Managing Director Christopher Roberts said three other brands, Qantas, Flight Centre and AirAsia, were not too far behind Virgin Australia, with each scoring the same net promoter score of +10%.
He said this not only demonstrated the highly competitive nature of online flight and travel, but also that no brand has yet to establish a unique point of difference enabling it to dominate the category.
“While Virgin Australia led in key categories, such as overall value and customer service and support, it did not lead across all categories. This means there is an opportunity for one travel website to provide a consistently good end-to-end experience to travelling Australians across all touch points so they can step away from the pack,” he said.
“The competitive nature of the online space means that customers are searching for a personalised and tailored travel experience that is quick, efficient and provides the best bottom-dollar value, which can be difficult to achieve due to the lack of personal interface and interaction.”
Mr Roberts said with recommendations from families and friends having the greatest influence on Australians and their purchasing decisions, flight and travel websites needed to do more to encourage promoters of their brand to recommend them to others.
“One strategy would involve investing in their customer service and support arms to adequately handle issues that may arise in the online process to provide online customers with a sense of assurance if things go wrong,” he said.
Engaged Strategy is a strategic consultancy that focusses on helping businesses grow by developing fresh customer, marketing and organisational strategies. Engaged Marketing is an approved Net Promoter Score Loyalty Partner. Christopher Roberts is an Industry Fellow at the University of Queensland, Australia.
Net Promoter, NPS and Net Promoter Score are trademarks of NICE Satmetrix Systems Inc., Bain & Company and Fred Reichheld.
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