Leaving on a jet plane…….
So, it is interesting to see how travel companies fared in the recent 2011 Eptica Multichannel Customer Service Study. As part of multi-sector research, this tested how well both airlines and tour operators answered basic questions via email and the web, as well as measuring links to social media. The results were unfortunately as unpredictable as the British weather.
On the web, airlines demonstrated superior customer service to package tour operators, answering 64% of questions asked via their websites, compared to a lamentable 44% for operators. One company could answer 8 out of 10 customer questions – but a competitor only managed three. This ensured that the overall sector average was just 54 per cent, meaning that just over half of questions were answered successfully.
When it came to email the position was even worse – only half of companies actually answered questions that were emailed to them, although travel was, on average, the fastest sector in the survey to respond. And only three companies provided links to Facebook and Twitter, although one organisation did link customer service to its own internal forum.
The advent of the internet has transformed the travel industry. Customers can access more and more information on potential destinations and have the ability to easily shop around for the best deal. This means they inevitably have questions and demand fast, accurate answers both before and after they book. And if they don’t get satisfactory answers they now have a whole variety of social media channels to complain through. From our research the travel sector still has a way to go if they want to deliver five star customer service to holidaymakers.