Monday, January 30, 2012

Customer service in the travel and tourism industry

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Customer Service in the travel and tourism industry

Customer service is very important in the travel and tourism industry since the industry involves selling a service rather than a product therefore without customers there would be no business.

The main principles of customer service are:

1. Maintain and establish good customer service. An organisation should listen clearly to customers to identify their needs and understand what they want. They should try to satisfy these needs by any means possible. The level of customer service should then be kept to a high standard. My company, Music Festivals and Concerts in Glasgow should keep a high standard of customer service by making sure employees are polite, knowledgable, helpful, presented neatly and properly, and will go that extra mile for customers.

2. Internal and external customers have to be treated the same. There would be no business if there was no one to run the business and serve the customers. There would be no business without the customers since they are an organisations means of profit. This principle ensures that there is a commitment of customer service from the top of the organisation and is followed down to the employee who serves the customer. The company may wish to offer employees discounts for festivals or concerts or organise employee nights out. This is so staff morale is high and makes employees generally happier.

3. Evaluation of levels of customer service. An organisation must check that its level of customer service is appropiate. It must do this by collecting customer input e.g customer surveys etc. The company could hand out questionnaires to customers asking for their opinion on the type of music, venue, catering facilities at festivals and concerts that they run and ask their opinion on the companys service levels in general. Music Festivals and Concerts in Glasgow could also ask their staff for their opinions which would make them happy as they will feel that their opinion is valued.

4. Adjust. If the level of customer service is not adequate then by using the results of customer input an organisation must improve or change appropiate areas of their customer service. At this point some employers may take the opportunity to train their staff at customer service. The company could change the type of music at their concerts if feedback from customers were negative. If they get bad feedback from customers regarding customer service in the company, then they may think about sending their staff to a Welcome Host course.

Quality customer service can bring a positive effect on business success.

Importance of quality customer service:

1. Quality customer service ensures the loyalty of customers. Customers who receive quality customer service are likely to return to the same place. This can give a company an edge over competition.

2. Quality customer service promotes good business. Customers who are satisfied by the level of your company's customer service is likely to tell their family and friends. This increases sales for the company therefore more profit. The organisation may need less money to market themselves since they will have a good reputation.

3. Quality customer service can help develop the right products and services. An organisation can match products and services to customers requirements which means less waste of money and time on products and services that customers don't want.

4. Quality customer service makes a happier and more efficient workforce. Satisfied customers are likely to be nice back to staff. This in turn makes staff happy and makes them work better. This also causes improved co-operation between departments and a decrease in staff being absent.

Customer service initiatives are there to help organisations make their workforce better and improve customer satisfaction in the travel and tourism industry as a whole. It also helps customers recognise an organisation's high standards of customers service.

Examples of customer service initiatives are:

1. Welcome Host

Welcome Host offers courses which provide an opportunity for employees in the service sector to improve the quality and delivery of the tourism product in Scotland. They aim to improve communications, enhance skills, provide higher standards and increase job satisfaction. The course highlights the imprtance of customer care.The course helps to develop improves standards of service which will lead to satisfied customers, encourage higher spending, reduce complaints and gain repeat business.

2. Scotlands Best

Scotlands Best is a programme aimed at all areas of staff specifically in tourism business. The course aims to motivate staff, to practice good customer service, improve overall standards of performance, differentiates your organisation from competitors, helps to retain good staff and presents your company with a more professional image.

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