Hampton Inn Delivers Best Hotel Experience

In Forrester’s 2008 Customer Experience Index (CxPi), we ranked 113 companies across 12 industries. I recently published a snapshot of the hotel industry results from the 6 hotels on the list (Hampton Inn, Marriott Hotels, Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn, Hilton Hotels, and Comfort Inn). Here’s some of what we found:

  • Experiences are “good.” As a group, the six hotels ended up with a “good” rating of 79%.
  • Hampton Inn and Marriott lead the pack. With an “excellent” score of 89%, Hampton Inn led all hotels and came in 3rd on the overall list of 113 firms. Marriott, with an 85% score, was the only other hotel with an “excellent rating.”
  • Comfort Inn lags. With the only “okay” rating, Comfort Inn came out at the bottom of the list at 70%.
  • Hampton Inn was most useful and enjoyable. Hampton Inn came out on top in two of the three components of the CxPi, with the largest lead in enjoyability.
  • Marriott is easiest to work with. Marriott earned an “excellent” rating of 92% for being easy to work with. Next on the list for this component was Holiday Inn Express with an 89% score.

The bottom line: I’m going to consider a Hampton Inn on my next trip

Web Satisfaction Snapshot- USAA, Amazon.com, and Barnes & Noble Top The List

We asked more than 4,500 US consumers about their satisfaction with experiences across 12 different industries: airlines, banks, cell phone service providers, credit card providers, hotels, insurance firms, Internet service providers, investment firms, medical insurance companies, PC manufacturers, retailers, and TV service providers. Our analysis looked at phone, store/branch, and Web interactions.

Satisfaction With Web Interactions

Here are some highlights of consumer feedback on Web interactions. The analysis looked at satisfaction rates at an industry level and changes from last year’s results, examined satisfaction for individual companies, and compared responses across generations of consumers.

  • Highest industry satisfaction: Banks (84%) and credit card providers (84%)
  • Lowest industry satisfaction: Heath plans (66%) and wireless carriers (66%)
  • Most improved industry: Banks (improved 1%)
  • Least improved industry: TV service providers (declined 6%)
  • Highest company satisfaction: USAA (93%), Amazon.com  (93%), Barnes & Noble  (93%), eBay  (92%), Southwest Airlines  (91%), and Hilton Hotels  (91%) 
  • Lowest company satisfaction: Comcast- TV (60%), Sprint (61%), Time Warner Cable (62%), Medicare (62%), Comcast- ISP (62%), and AAA (64%).
  • Most satisfied generation: Seniors were most satisfied for eight of the industries
  • Least satisfied generation: Gen Yers were least satisfied for seven of the industries
  • Largest generation gap: Airlines (Seniors at 91% versus Gen Y at 73%)

The bottom line: What’s it like when customers go to your Websites?

Is Loyalty More Important Now? No!

I just read an article in Advertising Age called Marketers Put Emphasis on Loyalty which talks about how companies are focusing on loyalty programs during the economic downturn. According to Adam Burke, Hilton Hotel’s senior VP-customer loyalty:

Like a lot of people in the [hospitality] industry, we’re starting to see some slowing. Our Honors members tend to be the group that buoys us through a downturn. They are the core audience and tend to stay loyal and sustain the business especially through those downturns.

That dynamic is true in other industries; loyal customers really help in a downturn. So is loyalty more important in a downturn? Absolutely not! Loyalty is ALWAYS important.

Let’s consider a simple loyalty lifecycle: (1) Engage customers, (2) build loyalty, (3) reinforce loyal activities. Downturns are the worst time for (1) and (2) because there are fewer customers. It’s the time to really hone in on (3). So if you just start thinking about loyalty during a downturn, it’s too late.

The bottom line: Loyalty is an asset that you build up when you need it the least.

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