We’ve used 12 principles developed from published best practice as well as our own research in this field.
The results appear to be a paradox: 32 sites carry this functionality, suggesting that it is a standard component for user experience; and yet only a handful offer a truly viable, useful experience.
Generally we saw:
- Poor visibility and promotion on the site
- Poor usability
- Requests for irrelevant personal information
- Poor service support
The best scoring sites (Volkswagen, Honda, Renault) are adopting user experience standards for booking systems from other industries. They also appear to have put more effort into aligning the online and offline channels.
Other manufacturers need to commit one way or the other: either remove online booking tools, or commit their organisations to more fully support them and improve the online experience.
Until they do this, online booking systems threaten immediate sales as well as long-term customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
Download 'Test drive booking online' (PDF)
Author: Philip Morton