Travelocity Base CaseBy David F. Carr | Posted 2006-09-06 Print
How improved Web site performance and customer service are helping to turn around this online travel service.
Travelocity Base Case
Headquarters: 3150 Sabre Drive, Southlake, TX 76092
Phone: (682) 605-1000
Business: Online bookings of air, hotel and cruise reservations.
Chief Technology Officer: Barry Vandevier
Financials in 2005: Travelocity, a division of Sabre Holdings, contributed $830 million to Sabre's $2.5 billion in revenue. Sabre earned $196 million in 2005, but Travelocity had an operating loss of $2.8 million.
Challenge: Regain lost market share in the face of increased competition from other online travel agencies and the individual airlines, while trying to make up for reduced commissions.
Travelocity: Rising in the Rankings
Between 2004 and 2005, as Travelocity put a new version of its Web site software into production, it substantially improved its performance as measured by a Keynote Systems customer experience study.
Keynote conducted its study of air travel booking Web sites, including those of the individual airlines, by recruiting a panel of 2,000 computer users to perform a series of common shopping tasks on each of the Web sites evaluated. In addition to polling users about their experiences, Keynote based its results on data gathered by a browser plug-in that let it track actual user behavior to detect, for example, problems such as confusing user interface or navigation schemes.
In 2004, Travelocity was ranked No. 6 for brand impact, No. 2 for conversion impact, and No. 4 for customer satisfaction.
* Brand impact index: Based on metrics that indicate how positive or negative an image people have of the company, not the Web site. Keynote asks people to associate certain adjectives with the company for their impressions. Questions are asked before and after visting the Web site.
** Conversion impact index: Involves about eight metrics relating to how likely people are to engage with the site in the future (e.g., likely to return, likely to purchase, would recommend the site).
*** Customer satisfaction index: Based on each quantitative metric used in the customer ratings process; essentially the quality of the site experience, as opposed to the impact of the experience measured by the brand and conversion indices.
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