Hotel Industry Blog

Friday, July 18, 2008

Multi-step booking approach proving superior to one-step single page versions

With the array of different booking engines in the marketplace constantly growing, technology heavy companies often allow new technology to overshadow the fundamental point of the booking process, which is to ease the path for the user to make a booking.

Bookassist has always adopted a customer-centric approach to the booking process, keeping the technology hidden from the customer, and uses a multi-step approach to online reservations which allows the customer to have more detail about what they are booking, more clarity in the process, more feedback on what they are doing while booking, and a far higher sense of security during the crucial credit card step than a single page on screen could possibly provide. A significant body of research, and the approach of the top booking engine systems in the world, vindicates this multi-step approach and shows it to be best practice and superior to the single page flash-style booking solution which, while promising to allow a booking in one step, often simply frustrates the user with a lack of information and leads to a lower faith in the system. This could potentially damage future business in the eyes of some customers for a hotel deploying a one-step approach.

See for example the opinion of Hospitality Net on the issue at: www.hospitalitynet.org. While tracking and optimisation issues have certainly improved recently, especially since the Hospitality Net article was published, the fundamental issues of utility for the customer addressed in that article, and other research remains. The key is to serve the customer and relegate the technology to the background.

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