Interviews

Prepr Talks #4: Booking.com on how they improve their customer experience through a/b testing

Hospitality platform Booking knows all about improving the customer experience. In this episode of our interview series Prepr Talks, we're sitting down with Alex Ioana from Booking. What can we learn from Alex about optimization, personalization, and the partner side of Booking?

About Booking.com Partner Hub

Booking.com is well-known for its consumer-focused business efforts. But today, we talk with Alex Ioana, Booking.com’s Digital Content Experience Manager responsible for the B2B partner content at the Partner Hub of Booking.com. This hub provides partners such as accommodations, hotels, and vacation rentals available on Booking with all the information, products, and services they need to make their listing more appealing to potential guests. 

Key learnings and takeaways

  • Booking.coms Partner Hub has a wide target group. The team focuses on professionals and people who are just getting started with listing their holiday home on Booking.com. The main focus for Booking? Making the lives of their partners easier, right from the start. 
  • Customer satisfaction is one of the many KPIs that Booking tracks digitally. One of the most important goals is to reduce the need for expertise from Booking and improve the customer experience of their partners.
  • Booking.com’s website is highly optimized and largely A/B tested, if not multi-variant tested. Alex and his team are therefore also involved in thousands of experiments at Booking.com. 
  • His view on A/B testing? “An A/B test should be thought about strategically and not necessarily as a means to improve a KPI. If you want to improve a KPI, you’re not going to do a good job. If you want to improve the experience of your audience, and you have two options to experiment with? Go for an A/B test.” 
  • In practice, this means that you should consider A/B testing from a goal perspective, and (for example) don’t try to optimize the color of your buttons or CTAs. A/B testing is time and effort-consuming, so if you decide to test something, do it to improve your audience's experience. 
  • The personalization Alex is seeking for the Partner Hub appears on an individual and not on a segmented level. Currently, the team is making a start with this hyper-targeted form of personalization. For the Partner Hub Team at Booking.com, it’s so they can give their audience a better understanding of the information that is available to them – personally. This is why Alex sees personalization as a huge opportunity instead of a challenge.
  • Having too much data can be an obstacle, Alex knows. There are many ‘vanity metrics’ that are distracting. Alex looks for the variables that best inform him about what his audience really needs. And it can happen that the things you think your audience wants, can only be an indiction of an underlying desire.

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