Is the service from tourism companies improving?

By | Category: Travel rumblings
happy customer service

we seem to be happier with the level of customer service we get. © Dan Sperrin

Just about Travel insists that customer service and satisfaction can make or break a holiday. According to the UK Customer Satisfaction Index, the tourism sector suffered a slight decline but climbed from sixth to third in their rankings beating the all-sector average in every one of the 28 metrics used to rate each industry.

Center Parcs (83.3), P&O Cruises (82.0) and Premier Inn (82.0) were the clear leaders in this sector. Only two organisations scored lower than the all-sector average (79.8) for customer satisfaction and the tourism sector average was 3.5 points higher than that.

The impressive performance of the top scoring organisations however also masks a diversity of performance throughout the sector. While Center Parcs and P&O Cruises saw impressive increases in their scores (4.4 and 3.4 points respectively) in the past six months, only three organisations in total improved their customer satisfaction scores by more than one point. And does just one point matter?

Just over 7% of tourism customers experienced a problem compared to 13.4 per cent across all industries, while satisfaction with complaints handling and the outcome of complaints have both improved since January 2014.  Doesn’t this suggest that tourism companies are getting better in the way they handle our problems?

Jo Causton, the head of the Institue of Customer Service which undertakes the research says, “Tourism faces a unique set of challenges. Customer satisfaction with a holiday for example incorporates the whole experience from leaving my front door to returning after my break. If I am delayed during my journey, have a bad experience at the airport, have a problem with a connection or the accommodation it will reflect on each of the other elements.

A problem which may appear to be unconnected to the organisation may be seen by the customer as part of the same thing. If a complaint is to be resolved successfully it has to happen almost immediately if it is not to impact negatively on the overall experience. As a result organisations in this sector must be adept at handling problems quickly and successfully, which is reflected in the impressive performance

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