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Published on Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Travel industry has 'worst customer service'

New research by company ratings firm Feefo has found that the majority of British consumers believe travel firms offer a worse service even then energy and telecom providers.

In its survey, 63% of respondents said the travel industry was the worst for customer service, followed by the leisure and hospitality industry (57%) and retail (54%).

In comparison, energy companies were voted for by just 21%, insurance companies by 19% and telecoms 15%.

Almost three quarters of the 2,488 respondents who took part in the survey said customer service in the UK was 'poor' and only 10% said it was 'good'.

The biggest bugbear was robotic or scripted responses from customer service agents, followed by conflicting advice from different agents, foreign call centres or agents that are hard to understand, long hold times on the phone and rude staff.

Being passed from one person to another, forced to use expensive call centre numbers and the length of time to resolve issues were also listed as chief complaints, along with a lack of resolution and lack of available management to escalate problems.

When asked whether the UK should take inspiration from other countries, 67% believe America could teach the UK how to set the standard, and 25% felt that customer service in other European countries was better.

Feefo chief marketing officer Matt West said: "It's interesting to see that the travel sector doesn't fare well in the service ratings. Perhaps this is because travel is often such an emotional and significant purchase for people, therefore the customer experience becomes that much more important.

"It is however encouraging to see some businesses sectors including energy, telecoms and insurance have fared better than other industries, and suggests these companies have been taking customer feedback on board and working hard to improve their offering."

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