Published on Thursday, February 9, 2017

Customer satisfaction improves for travel sector

Overall customer satisfaction in the travel and tourism sector has increased over the past year, according to the latest figures.

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.

This year, the tourism sector is the highest scoring sector, alongside the banking sector, for 'in person' experience measures such as speed of service and helpfulness of staff.

Tourism also generates fewer problems for customers than any other sector. According to the research, 9% of customers had a problem, the same as in January 2016, as opposed to the UK average of 13%.

P&O Cruises tops the tables as the highest scorer in the industry and hotel giant Marriott was the most improved.

Launched in 2008, the UKCSI is the national measure of UK customer satisfaction and rates customer satisfaction at a national, sector and organisational level across 13 sectors.

It involves interviews with 10,000 UK consumers.

"Generally speaking, it's been a great year for customer service in the tourism sector, with consumers telling us that businesses are improving overall experiences by getting things right first time and dealing with complaints faster and more efficiently," said Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service.

"However, these factors do not necessarily translate into customer loyalty and recommendation. Just being 'good' is no longer good enough, and organisations should think about how they can deliver outstanding service at all times.

"Added to that, better consistency is needed across different channels. Engagement through digital methods such as email, text, apps and webchat functions have all increased in the last year, and these are the channels through which it's most difficult for customer service staff to show empathy. Organisations therefore 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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