Your Holiday has been Cancelled

Standing at the Airport: Customer Satisfaction in Tourism

That feeling of being let down is rarely forgotten by you, me or any other consumer. Whether it’s a delayed flight, lost hotel booking, or a bad restaurant experience.

This is peak time for the leisure sector as people take advantage of holidays and hot (we hope) weekends and evenings to go to cinemas, restaurants, clubs, theatres and other venues.

The good news is that customer satisfaction in the tourism sector is at its highest point for six years, says the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), published by The Institute of Customer Service.

Tourism – which covers holiday companies, hotel chains and travel booking websites – performs above the UK industry average in the UKCSI.

Compared with the national average, tourism performs strongest for customer experiences over the phone – especially the ease of getting through and the helpfulness and competence of staff – while the measures showing the greatest improvement in the past year are those related to dealing with complaints.

The improvement in customer satisfaction in tourism has largely been achieved by getting things ‘right first time’, says the Institute, and better complaint handling; yet more customers are experiencing problems, and trust and loyalty are broadly flat.

The Institute recommends four areas that tourism organisations should focus on in order to make a marked change in customer experience and gain genuine customer loyalty and advocacy:

  1. Create easy, ‘right first time’ customer experiences
  2. Prevent problems occurring
  3. Maintain a relentless focus on complaint handling
  4. Offer personalised help and advice

That’s all very aspirational, but what is really needed is to understand the customer experience, right down to the individual enquiry, purchase or complaint.

React CX teamed up with TTG to simulate a realistic booking process each week with a different travel agency. We send mystery shoppers, looking for the best deal from agents and operators on the high street, online, on TV or in newspapers (well done

Researchers take into consideration the first impression, the sales process, product and budget match and extras offered. Then React CX gives an unbiased opinion of which channel/company they would have booked with on that occasion.

It is proven to be an invaluable service for those travel agents that are involved in the scheme. They get an independent, objective check-up, feedback and the opportunity to benchmark performance against the best.

Interested? The React CX service is available to other sectors too, including retailers, membership organisations, music and other entertainment venues and sports stadia.

Please message me if you want to find out what your business should be doing more of or doing differently, how you compare and what customers think – and please Share on LinkedIn if this post has been helpful.