In the days of AirBnB, it is hard to see or appreciate any other hotel booking platform in the market. However, Booking.com has some great features that makes it a wonderland for holiday planners and a product that can be hailed as simply visionary. Here are three standout features on Booking.com that has made me a loyalist forever!
1. Easy Filters that are intuitive to a User’s customer journey
Starting from the landing page, Booking.com takes away the prize for making it easy for a traveler to filter out stays. Compared to AirBnB for instance, Booking.com also has an option to indicate you are travelling for work so that you don’t have to scroll through hundreds of hostels/private rooms before you chance upon a low budget but decent private hotel room.
On the other hand, it takes me two clicks on AirBnB to even land on the stay options I’m looking for. Airbnb could have eliminated the second click altogether by having the filter for “Homes”, “Experiences”, “Restaurants” on the landing page itself. We all know in UX, every additional click is an experience killer.
Interestingly, Booking.com tackles this in a whole different and more intuitive way. They send details about local travel, experiences and sightseeing on email and after the reservation is made. Seems logical, since you will not go sightseeing until you’ve first found a place to live at!
2. Change the Guest’s Name on the reservation
I bet you didn’t know this one existed, or that it was even needed. That’s why most travel portals don’t have this feature on, or due to security concerns don’t want to bother with it. But let me tell you how visionary this feature is. In the most common case, you have made a reservation for someone else, but may have forgotten to reserve under their name and instead did it under yours because you were paying for it (by the way, Booking has a feature to book for someone else). Or in my case, on the day of arriving at the place, I didn’t have my I.D. on me (obviously the hotel wouldn’t let me in), so the only way out was to change the reservation name from mine to my friend’s, who did have an I.D. Whatever the use case may be, the Product Manger or customer experience team at booking.com must have thought far and beyond, to have had this feature included. And it takes no phone calls, no long forms, and nothing of that horror to change the name- just one click and re-typing the name. That’s it!
3. Cancel for Free and Pay Later
There are so many ways our plans can go haywire, and it’s simply peace of mind to know that we can cancel our hotel booking with absolutely no cancellation charges. Booking.com allows you to do just that. This note is highlighted on every single booking, and you can even filter by this option. Plus, knowing that you can pay at the property instead of immediately during the booking will actually convert more visitors on the website than otherwise.
Plus, booking.com makes it very clear what you will be paying and what charges are excluded, so that your search can be more focused and moves faster. In Airbnb, it’s not until the last step I know what I’m paying which can be significantly different from the display price (have you noticed the service fees, taxes, cleaning fee etc?). Booking.com gets brownie points for making a customer’s journey seamless with this feature.
I could go on and on about all of booking.com’s features, but you’ve already got the gist. My main contention is that from having all the required filters and more, to changing reservation names and getting free cancellation, booking.com seems to meet every need of a traveler planning her holiday. And that’s what you want as a product company!
So which are your favorite travel planning platforms?
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