Newbies nip at online travel agencies' customer satisfaction scores
Facing increasing competition from startups and search engines and mired in a relatively stagnant user experience, online travel agencies got dinged in a recent major customer satisfaction report.
Released Tuesday, the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) rated overall satisfaction with the online travel agencies, also known as OTAs, at 76 on a 100-point scale for 2012. That's a drop of 2.6 percent from the year prior.
In fact, travel was the only focus area in ACSI’s latest e-commerce report to post a decline; satisfaction with the other two sectors — online retail and online brokerage — were up 1.2 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.
The online travel industry has seen a 15.2 percent increase in its ACSI scores since 2000, the first year they were measured. Back then, the Index only tracked Priceline. The biggest gain for online travel came in 2002, going from 69 to 77, when ACSI began measuring players like Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity as well. However, overall industry performance has stuck to being within two points of that score ever since.