What customers want from a Caribbean tourism website is a
great package deal. Alternatively, they want to get a hotel at a good price, and get a
'best of' for the destination.
According to a Customer Carewords poll of 130 attendees
at User Interface 11, held in Boston in October 2006, the top 10 most important things for
people thinking of visiting the Caribbean on vacation are:
- Caribbean Vacation Packages
- Things to Do & See
- Best of Caribbean
- About the Caribbean
- The Best Beaches
- The Best Moderately-Priced Hotels
- Special Offers
Participants were given a list of 91 Caribbean tourism
carewords to choose from. They were asked to choose their top 5 from this list. They were
then asked to give a score of 5 to their most important careword, 4 to the next most
important careword, and so on.
five carewords (Caribbean Vacation Packages, Things to Do & See, Best of Caribbean,
About the Caribbean, and Accommodation) represented 5 percent of the carewords total.
They received 31 percent of the vote. This is what we
call the Long Neck principle.
The Long Neck principle holds that from a list of choices
people will select a very small set as the most important.
At 31 percent of the vote, the top 5 Caribbean carewords got more votes than the bottom 69
phrases. In practical terms, what this means is that these five careword phrases get to
the essence of what people want most from a Caribbean tourism website.
We have carried out Customer Carewords surveys over a five-year period for both intranets
and public websites of governments, universities, associations and commercial websites. On
every single occasion, there has been a Long Neck of high-priority carewords and tasks.
The Long Neck principle is a variation on the Pareto 80:20 principle. This principle
predicts that, for example, 80 percent of income is earned by 20 percent of the
population, or that 80 percent of sales is from 20 percent of customers.
When we analyze the Customer Carewords results we find that while the top 5 percent gets
on average 25 percent of the vote, the top 20 percent only gets 60 percent of the vote. In
our Caribbean poll, the top 20 percent of carewords got 62 percent of the vote.
What this means, in essence, is that there is huge consensus among a group about what is
really important. But that consensus dissipates very quickly, with people then thinking
that there are quite a few things that are fairly important, and that there are a lot of
things that are of minor importance.
What are the implications of the Long Neck for the management of a website - and the
delivery of the maximum return on investment for that website?
- Your customers are highly impatient.
- They have a small set of Long Neck tasks that they will
quickly scan your webpages for.
If they see these Long Neck tasks addressed prominently
and with clarity, you will pass that vital test of relevance.
If you present the important Long Neck carewords on your homepage and other key pages,
then you will keep the attention of your impatient customers. Instead of reaching for the
Back button, your customers will be clicking on one of your links to complete the task
they came to your website to complete.
For a comprehensive analysis of this tourism survey, please email Brian Lamb mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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