Consumers are more likely to have interacted with a travel company online in the past six months than had an in-store experience according to a study.
The Multichannel Customer Experience Report, carried out by Econsultancy and Foviance, shows 57% of consumers have interacted online with travel companies in the past six months compared to the 20% who have had dealings with a travel agent.
When it comes to booking travel, 47% of consumers say they booked online.
Despite the figures, consumers still rate offline touchpoints as important with 17% saying they have used a travel brochure in the past six months.
When it comes to rating their most recent travel experience with the various channels, 76% describe their in-store experience as good or excellent compared to 81% who say the experience via their desktop was good or excellent.
Interaction with travel companies via phone or call centre did not rate as well with 65% of consumers saying the experience was either good or excellent.
The top three most important factors for a positive online experience emerged as efficient customer service, low-price but high-quality products although the quick resolution of problems also rated quite highly for the travel sector.
The research, which also looks at the commitment of companies to deliver an integrated experience, shows 46% of respondents see buy-in from top management as key.
However, only 26% of respondents say their company has a well-developed strategy in place to improve customer experience, only four percentage points up on last year’s figure of 22%.
The complex nature of the customer experience is Â now seen as the greatest barrier to creating a better integrated experience overtaking organisational structure in last year’s study.
The research, conducted earlier this year in conjunction with online survey specialist Toluna, surveyed 5,000 consumers across five sectors including travel, banking and retail.