Travelocity scores higher than competitors for customer satisfaction and loyalty, according to survey released by the 2011 American Customer Service Index (ACSI). The survey, which was produced in part by a company called ForeSee, rates 225 companies across 47 industries based on customer satisfaction. Businesses are ranked on a 100-point scale reflecting customer evaluations of products and services.
Travelocity topped the rankings for online travel agencies, receiving a score of 79. The company overtook competitor Expedia, which had topped the index for the past nine years. Expedia's ranking dropped 3 percentage points to 77.
The study found that overall, customers are satisfied with the services they are getting from online travel sites. Travelocity, Orbitz and Priceline all ranked above 78 on the ACSI, matching scores from last year.
While customer satisfaction is gaining, maintaining loyalty can still be problematic for the online travel agencies (OTAs) that act as a middle man to airlines. Larry Freed, the CEO and president at ForeSee, explained that customer loyalty suffers because OTAs can seem interchangeable to consumers.
That could be changing soon, though. According to Diane Clarkson, e-business analyst with Forrester Research, OTAs could start pushing customer service initiatives with newer technologies, such as virtual agents or live chats, to stand out from competitors.