Customer service throughout the travel industry

Customer service is a pretty conscientious topic to cover. I have been considering writing this post on the travel blog for a while and thinking of the best ways to tackle it.

I don’t really want to upset my fellow Brits but I’m sorry to say customer service in the UK is extremely subpar. I find myself being constantly forgotten at restaurants or ignored in bars and big companies never call me back when they promise and assure me they will.

There are many reasons that service is bad in the UK, I think a lot of staff on the minimum wage just don’t care. They try to get by with the minimum amount of work and collect their money. It makes no difference to them if they were polite to the customer or not. This differs in somewhere like the USA where staff have to work hard and give great service to top up there lowly wage with tips in order to make a decent living.

On the flipside us Brits never like to complain or make a fuss so the staff of the establishments we frequent are never going to know we are unhappy or upset as we simply don’t let them know. Well I say please speak up. If you have had bad customer service or a bad experience you must let the staff or management know. How can they ever better themselves or improve if we don’t give feedback?

This brings me to the travel industry and feedback. Since the inception of tripadvisor and other review sites hotels, restaurants, tour guides etc have all been receiving anonymous feedback on their services. Whilst we know from recent press this cannot always be trusted, it is an excellent way to research places to stay or see and get a much more in depth review rather than the companies own glossy website. In more recent years travel bloggers, just like myself, have been providing quality content along with reviews, opinions and tips on places they visit giving readers and researchers first hand advice on destinations they are planning to visit.

The huge rise of the travel industry on the web has forced suppliers to up their game. Gone are the days when you would just turn up at a hotel or B&B and hope for the best last minute. It’s now possible to check reviews and blogs whilst you make a last minute booking for this evenings hotel stay. In the travel industry you have to be providing good service to get good business it’s no longer possible to just rely on your excellent location and amenities, reputation is everything.

This is one area the UK is beginning to catch up. Hotels are having to really up their customer service in order to increase their reputation. Of course you have always been able to get good service at somewhere like the Ritz but now it’s possible to be treated just as well at the Premier Inn. You no longer need to pay big money to get those special touches or amazing customer service.

This is the same the world over small B&B’s and independently run hotels are now matching the huge chains and iconic hotels by providing fantastic customer service. The tiniest things really do make the difference just a smile and knowing the guests name can go a long way with a client or customer.

I read an article recently from Keith Jenkins about his warm welcome in Amman and how big a difference those small touches make.

You can read the article here

Hotels just need to make sure they get those touches right attention to detail is everything. I stayed in a hotel once that said welcome Mrs Jacobs on the TV rather than Mr, although it did provide a little laugh and it’s not the sort of thing you would bother to complain about!

In my opinion customer service is only going to get better and continue improving throughout the travel industry due to the content that is now available for people to research. Whilst there are a number of businesses that complain about the awful reviews they are getting and how it is damaging their revenue they are the only ones that can solve the problem, unfortunately they are always looking to lay the blame elsewhere.

I am a huge believer in great customer service there really isn’t any excuse not to provide it if your business relies on it?!

I only hope the UK catches up with the rest of the world soon especially as were hosting the Olympics this year.

Had a customer service nightmare or the best customer service ever? Then Id love to hear about it in the comments. I’m particularly interested in others people’s views on customer service in the UK.

photo credits: rwphotobug, 23am

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