A great year for tourism customer satisfaction

By | Category: Travel news
happy customer service

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

“Generally speaking, it’s been a great year for customer service in the tourism sector,” said Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service.

For those in the tourism industry it seems to have been an especially good one as the tourism industry is the highest scoring sector albeit that it shares it with banking. The UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), published by the Institute of Customer Service has given the sector an overall customer satisfaction rating of 80.2 out of 100 – 0.6 points higher than its January 2016 score.

Begun in 2008, the UKCSI is the equivalent of the American version which started at the University of Michigan many years before. Involving interviews with 10,000 UK consumers, the UKCSI is a national measure of UK customer satisfaction and rates customer satisfaction at a national, sector and organisational level across 13 sectors. (The other main measurement of customer satisfaction, the Customer Care Alliance Survey which Just about Travel’s parent company ran in the UK from 2004-2007. It ceased because so there was little movement in scores each year. The study still continues in the USA.)

According to that research, 9% of customers had a problem, the same as in January 2016, as opposed to the UK average of 13%. The UKCSI says that P&O Cruises tops the tables as the highest scorer in the industry and hotel giant Marriott was the most improved despite the fact that Marriott has one of the most sophisticated customer service systems in the travel industry.

The report says that customer contact through digital methods such as email, text, apps and webchat functions have all increased in the last year but highlights the fact that these are the channels through which it’s most difficult for customer service staff to show empathy. It says that companies and other organisations need to make sure that their staff are highly engaged and highly skilled, as every customer interaction – regardless of the channel it’s on – counts towards business performance.”

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