Tourism offers some of the best customer experiences

14th Oct 2014

The Tourism sector might have experienced a slight decline in customer satisfaction, but it has climbed from sixth to third in the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI), scoring higher than 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. Seven saw their scores decline by more than one point and ten organisations scored below 80 points, the level which is considered to represent excellent customer service.

Overall the Tourism sector’s score fell by 0.2 points compared to a 0.8 drop across all sectors.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. This sector is therefore relatively strong at preventing problems occurring but there is a high propensity for customers to report problems – 78.2% did so, compared to the national average 72.7% and 52 per cent then reported having to escalate their problem.

Social media is used more often in Tourism to report a problem than in most other sectors, with a score of 8.6 per cent, 7.2 per cent then used it to escalate the problem.

Jo Causon, CEO of the Institute of Customer Service, comments:

“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 in the UKCSI.”

The UKCSI, carried out by the Institute of Customer Service, involved more than 12,000 interviews with consumers about their customer experiences. During these interviews customers gave insight into 197 of the UK’s leading brands across 13 different sectors. Of these, Tourism ranked in 3rd place, with a drop of just 0.2 points between January and July 2014.

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About The Institute of Customer Service

The Institute of Customer Service is the professional body for customer service delivering tangible benefit to organisations and individuals so that our customers can improve their customers' experience and their own business performance. The Institute is a membership body with a community of over 400 organisational members - from the private, public and third sectors - and over 5,000 individual memberships.

For more information about the Institute of Customer Service go to www.instituteofcustomerservice.com

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