Published on Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The importance of good communications

Yonder Digital Group CEO Chris Robinson on why good communications spell bigger business:

"At this time of year, people's minds inevitably turn to holidays in the sun. 2017 saw the highest percentage of people (87%) taking a vacation since 2011 according to ABTA's Holiday Habits 2017 report.

And, with 83% now choosing the speed and convenience of online booking, expectations of equally fast and efficient customer service are also rising. Yet many businesses are failing to deliver.

A recent Yonder Digital Group survey found that many are failing to impress in the communications department. The survey questioned the public on how they felt a range of consumer-facing sectors performed when it came to how easy they were to contact, and in how efficiently they solved issues.

It found that right across the board businesses are disappointing customers with the majority of sectors scored as overwhelmingly 'basic' or even 'poor' in their performance.

Out of all the sectors covered in the research, hotels was one of the best: the second highest performer with just under 60% voting their ease of contact as good or excellent, and only 9.6% as poor - the lowest score of any of the sectors covered in the report.

Even so, this still leaves 40% of the public feeling that hotels are not meeting expectations.

However, in contrast, airlines saw 41% of those questioned rate their ease of contact as basic, and 23% as poor.

Some of the issues airlines have to deal with, such as unexpected strikes and natural events, will of course drive up customer queries and complaints unpredictably, which may be a contributor. Such events however also make being contactable and responsive even more critical to business success.

Recipe for success

Consumers certainly have high expectations across all sectors and for every organisation they do business with.

Yonder's research shows that an overwhelming majority of consumers (81%) will take their business elsewhere if their queries aren't answered quickly and effectively by a company, and, in today's world, where as many as 88% of online shoppers use reviews to help them decide whether or not to make a purchase, reputation is everything.

Hotels and airlines must then be faster at responding to customers and resolving their queries than customers are to share their difficulties in getting in touch or their unresolved queries on social media, and this means making sure all calls, emails, and contact via social media are answered promptly.

Yonder research shows how important to on-going business success a good contact strategy is: 84% of UK consumers are more likely to stay loyal and spend more with companies that offer a range of touchpoints with 87% saying that offering a real person to talk to when they need it makes all the difference.

At the very least this means businesses need to ensure that they provide consumers with easy ways to get in touch through these multiple touchpoints, and offer live agent support through phone or chat at key times of the day and night.

Failure to offer this level of service will result not just in the extra costs caused by sorting out issues once they escalate, but ultimately in lost reputation and customers too: risks, which in the competitive travel market, no business can afford to ignore."


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