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Southwest Named Top Site for Overall Customer Experience Among Airlines and OTAs, Keynote Study Reveals

<ul> <li class='bwlistitemmargb'> <b>In Technical Quality Categories US Airways Scores First for Responsiveness (Speed), JetBlue Takes Top Honors for Reliability</b> </li> <li class='bwlistitemmargb'> <b>Ease of Booking, Price Satisfaction and Site Organization are Top Drivers for Brand Outcome and Customer Acquisition Likelihood</b> </li> </ul> <p> <b>*Share this news via Twitter @Keynote_Mobile</b> </p>

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Southwest Named Top Site for Overall Customer Experience Among Airlines and OTAs, Keynote Study Reveals

08:00 EDT Thursday, April 18, 2013

SAN MATEO, Calif. (Business Wire) -- Keynote® (NASDAQ: KEYN), the global leader in Internet and mobile cloud testing and monitoring, today announced the results of a new study examining the business effectiveness of US air travel booking websites. In the latest Keynote study of air travel websites, Southwest.com took first place for Overall Customer Experience, while US Airways scored highest for Responsiveness (Speed) and JetBlue took first for Reliability. The entire study is available for immediate purchase. To request more information please visit: http://bit.ly/2013airtravel.

The study is part of the work performed by Keynote Competitive Research, the competitive research group within Keynote. Winners of Keynote Competitive Research studies are able to participate in the company's Online Excellence Program which recognizes the "best of the best" websites as ranked in the studies. The rankings are based on responses from real users, who were observed as they accomplished tasks on each of the sites studied, as well as real data collected through Keynote website monitoring to assess the technical quality of the sites. For each study, Keynote recognizes the companies with the overall top ranking, as well as those exhibiting excellence in specific categories.

For the ‘Customer Experience' portion of the study, Keynote conducted online user testing sessions with 2,000 prospective customers (200 per site) from across the United States as each interacted with the website of one of 10 air travel booking websites: American, Delta, Expedia, JetBlue, Orbitz, Priceline (NEW), Southwest, Travelocity, United and US Airways.

Keynote Competitive Research produces leading industry research using the company's commercially available Web performance monitoring and real user experience testing products. Keynote regularly evaluates the current state of online customer experience, technical quality (responsiveness/reliability) and implementation of best practices on leading websites across a wide variety of vertical markets including financial services, automotive, media/entertainment, retail, travel and technology.

For the Customer Experience portion of the 2013 US Air Travel Study, panelists were asked to spend a few minutes on the site's home page, forming an impression of the site and what it has to offer. Panelists were then asked to complete a variety of flight search and booking tasks, including searching for a particular flight from the site's homepage, as well as from an outside search engine. Finally, panelists were asked to proceed through the process of booking the flight they found during the previous task, going as far as possible without actually completing the purchase.

The study revealed that when tested by actual consumers Southwest's website (www.southwest.com) offered the strongest overall Customer Experience, finishing first in the Brand Impact and Customer Satisfaction categories. Other key findings include:

  • Ease of Booking remains the most important aspect of the customer experience, predicting brand perceptions and conversion;
  • Price Satisfaction, Site Organization, Flight Search Option Satisfaction, Flight Availability, Visual Appeal, and Perceived Performance are the key drivers for brand and conversion;
  • Five sites now provide the best Overall Customer Experience in 2013: Southwest, Travelocity, Priceline, Orbitz, and Expedia;
  • Southwest, Orbitz, and Expedia continue to be top performers. Travelocity improves significantly this year and is now a top site across all 4 indices. Priceline enters the rankings in 2013, also a top performer across all Keynote indices.

“Our quantitative analysis revealed that when actual users visited the air travel sites, ease of booking continues to be the most important predictor of a positive customer experience, but price satisfaction, site organization and strong search functionality were all also very important to our panel of testers,” said Ben Rushlo, senior director of performance management at Keynote. “In the Technical Quality portion of the study,” Rushlo continued, “JetBlue scored very well for both Reliability and Responsiveness, but overall, while improving slightly from last year's study, almost all of the sites had slower load times than recommended for optimal performance levels.”

More Information about the Technical Quality Rankings in the 2013 Air Travel Study

In addition to evaluating customer experience with its panel of actual users, the Keynote study also examined two broad aspects of technical quality: responsiveness and reliability. Responsiveness comprises: high speed response, DSL (midband) response, response time consistency, geographic uniformity and load handling, while reliability is comprised of availability and outages.

For the ‘Technical Quality' portion of the study, using measurement computers located in 12 locations across the US, Keynote measured a typical transaction of starting at the Home Page and going through the process of searching for and booking a flight, stopping where payment information was requested. Based on the thousands of transactions monitored over the course of the study, US Airways' website scored highest in site Responsiveness (or speed), while JetBlue's website scored the highest for Reliability with a perfect score of 1000.

In order to collect the Technical Quality data Keynote used its Transaction Perspective® product, the leading real browser-based service for measuring and monitoring website performance from the end user perspective. With Keynote Transaction Perspective the company examines website performance from multiple geographic locations by simulating users clicking through transactions on a website. Keynote collected approximately 6,000 data points that detailed each of the sites' technical performance in terms of page responsiveness and reliability.

The study is available for purchase from Keynote and comes with extensive analysis of brand impact and acquisition impact and the customer experiences driving sites' performance in these areas. Clients will receive an executive presentation, extensive back-up charts and illustrations, and online access to all clickstreams, verbatims, question responses and panel facts for all panelists at all sites for all tasks and can download and use this data in their own research. To inquire about a copy view: http://bit.ly/2013airtravel.

About Keynote

Keynote® (NASDAQ: KEYN) is the global leader in Internet and mobile cloud testing & monitoring. The company maintains the world's largest on-demand performance monitoring and testing infrastructure for Web and mobile sites comprised of over 7,000 measurement computers and mobile devices in over 275 locations around the world that enable companies to continuously improve the online and mobile experience. Keynote currently collects over 700 million mobile and Web performance measurements daily and in 2012 was recognized by Forbes as “One of the Best 100 Companies in America” with under one billion in revenue. Known as ‘The Mobile and Internet Performance Authority™,' Keynote offers three market-leading product platforms:

Keynote Perspective® provides on-demand performance monitoring for enterprise web and mobile sites including online portals, e-commerce sites and B2B sites. Over 2,000 customers rely on Keynote Perspective services to know precisely how their websites, content, and applications perform on actual browsers, networks, and mobile devices.

Keynote DeviceAnywhere® provides the industry's only true cloud-based platform for testing and monitoring the functionality, usability, performance and availability of mobile applications and websites. It's suite of mobile testing solutions is used by over 1,000 mobile developers and enterprises to deliver quality mobile applications and services to the mobile channel.

Keynote SIGOS® offers active end-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) testing and monitoring solutions for mobile, fixed and VoIP communications. Its SITE and Global Roamer products are used by over 200 network operators, content providers, carriers and regulators in over 100 countries worldwide.

Keynote's 4,000 customers represent top Internet and mobile companies and include American Express, AT&T, Disney, eBay, E*TRADE, Expedia, Google, Microsoft, SonyEricsson, T-Mobile and Vodafone. Keynote Systems, Inc. is headquartered in San Mateo, California and can be reached at http://www.keynote.com/ or by phone in the U.S. at 1-800-KEYNOTE (1-800-539-6683).

The trademarks or registered trademarks of Keynote Systems, Inc. in the United States and other countries include Keynote®, DataPulse®, Keynote Customer Experience Rankings®, Perspective®, Keynote Red Alert®, Keynote WebEffective®, The Internet Performance Authority®, MyKeynote®, SIGOS®, SITE®, keynote® The Mobile & Internet Performance Authority™, Keynote FlexUse®, Keynote DeviceAnywhere®, Keynote DeviceAnywhere Test Center®, Keynote DemoAnywhere® and Keynote MonitorAnywhere®.All related trademarks, trade names, logos, characters, design and trade dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of Keynote Systems, Inc. in the United States and other countries and may not be used without written permission. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 2013 Keynote Systems, Inc.

Keynote
Dan Berkowitz, 650-403-3305
dberkowitz@keynote.com

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