Tourism is travelling in the right direction

26th Jul 2017

As the summer holiday season gets into full swing, it’s encouraging to find that customer satisfaction in the tourism sector is at its highest point for six years.

In the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), published by The Institute of Customer Service, tourism remains the third highest ranking sector, 2.5 points above the UK average. The sector’s CSI of 80.7 (out of 100) is 0.8 points higher than last year, and eight of the 19 tourism sector organisations that feature in the UKCSI have improved their customer satisfaction score by more than one point.

In fact, the sector – which covers holiday companies, hotel chains and travel booking websites – performs above the UK average on all but one of the customer experience measures (the exception is the condition of delivered goods). The sector’s Net Promoter Score is 28.5, compared with the UK average of 17.0.

Compared with the national average, tourism performs strongest for customer experiences over the phone – particularly 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.

There is no room for complacency, though. With prices predicted to rise faster than incomes in the coming year, customers are likely to demand even higher levels of service when it comes to their much-anticipated holidays. The improvement in customer satisfaction in tourism has largely been achieved by getting things ‘right first time’ and better complaint handling, yet more customers are experiencing problems, and trust and loyalty are broadly flat.

The Institute recommends four areas tourism organisations should focus on in order to make a step change in customer experience and deliver 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

For more recommendations from the UKCSI, click here.

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