Customer Service in Tourism Introduction The tourism industry has for long been known as one of the most profitable industry in the economic world today. The rapid growth of the said industry has increased in demand thus causing high competition in the sector. It is thus vital that quality customer services be implemented to win tourists in this very competitive industry. According to Noe (2010), customer service defines how people relate to one another in the fulfillment of each other’s needs.
There ought to be efficiency in the interaction between tourism service providers and customers. Any service provider that is put in charge of assisting a tourist has sole responsibility to care for the needs of the said tourist and help in any way possible via communicating that they are there to be at the customer’s bidding. If a tourist customer interacts with a tourist firm for the first time, there is a high likelihood that the customer services given to her and the way she or he is assisted will determine whether a good relationship will be formed and continued or not.
The objective of any tourism business ought to be the provision of quality and highest standard of customer services. This is very important because it encourages satisfied customers to advertise for ones business. These and more are `some of the analysis impacts of customer service tourism development today. Adherence to these and more has largely contributed to the development of the tourism industry and thus adding to the global economy. These recommendations ought to be implemented under tourism management policies for purposes of better production in the tourism industry.
This will consequently bring about more tourists since they value good customer care and comfort where they go. However, in case the customer care offered is bad, dissatisfied customers are able to spread a bad word about the particular tourist firm in terms of their experience. This can in turn have serious implications on the tourism business in question. Customer service is therefore a very essential factor in the continuing success of any tourism business. The tourism industry today has become more competitive and hus calls for good customer services to attract more tourists. It is thus very important to ensure that customer services in the tourism industry are of high standard so that a good relationship can be attained with the customers and consequently attracting frequent touring and most importantly a good reputation (Myra, 2010). Analysis of impact of Customer Service in Tourism Development Since the tourism industry have its visitors as the expectant consumers, most tourism businesses have endeavored to provide satisfactory experiences for its consumers.
According to Goeldner (2009), customer care is very important because it impacts the marketing mix and assists in the building and delivering of a competitive advantage in the tourism industry. Where a tourism business provides satisfactory services, this leads to customer satisfaction that consequently leads to repeat business. Repeat business refers to where particular customers tour a particular place and like the quality services they received to the extent they become frequent visitors to that place.
Quality customer care has thus led to both customer satisfaction and loyalty, which are the two keys to repeat business as well as long-term profitability. The fact that tourism involves many service transactions that accrue over the course of a trip, quality experience is of paramount importance. Tourism managers therefore endeavor to provide their visitor’s with a holistic package of services, events and activities that bring high levels of satisfaction to the visitors. Customers in the tourism industry are said to gain high standards of customer service.
This is because their holiday experience can be made very nice with extra special activities and events. This can only be done with the assistance of an attentive as well as professional customer service staff. When these services are however poor, the customers suffer the most and consequently affect the tourism company in question negatively. Customer service operations should aim in giving customers complete satisfaction in their needs at all times. Basing on research made by the US Office of Consumer Affairs, failure of provision of quality customer service, the company business fails in the end.
The research revealed that 96 percent of tourists that are dissatisfied never lodge their complains, however 90 percent of them do not return in the same tourism company once they experience bad customer care and also, one single unhappy customer tells at least nine other potential customers. The need for quality customer services has positively impacted the growth of tourism today in that, most companies involved in tourism business endeavor to provide high quality customer care services to keep up the competition and consequently attract more customers.
According to Tassiopoulos, in the same way various customers will visit again and also inform their friends about the excellent service they encounter, tourists who enjoy a great holiday experience are likely to share with others a positive account about the destination, and also revisit the said destination for another holiday. It is this positive word of mouth that makes the particular tourism business shine because more tourists are likely to visit this destination by virtue of the its good reputation.
In this regard, the tourism industry has developed so much because of quality customer care services which has enabled tourism businesses to maintain their customers who become loyal customers that help in word-of-mouth advertising for the business. Furthermore, quality customer care services have ensured the retaining of good employees because employees who work in such a professional environment tend to acquire a sense of pride and thus remain working there. Another impact of provision of quality customer services in the development of the tourism industry is price competition.
A tourism business that has quality services needs not utilize price discounting and use of special offers for purposes of attracting customers. This is because such destinations rely on repeat visitors and those tourists who engage in word-of-mouth adverts. Furthermore, the tourism industry has developed by virtue of quality customer care services in that, this has brought in more revenue and cost reduction. For example when it comes to restaurant managers, they need not give complimentary items for free so as to compensate for poor services any more.
Tour operators, hotels as well as visitors attractions have also reduced the number of free things they give away for purposes of making up for customer complaints of inadequate services. The long term customers nowadays even charge more for their offerings. Consequently, many tourists today prefer staying in an expensive guesthouse they are familiar with as opposed to a less expensive one of low quality services (Pearce, 2011). Tourism customer care has largely contributed to the development of the tourism industry today by ensuring an edge over competition.
Since the tourism industry today is very competitive and therefore has many businesses that offer similar kinds of services and products, quality customer care services can be very beneficial. This is because almost all tourism business offer similar services and so what differentiates one from another is the quality of services offered in terms of customer care. Guesthouses that provide the best customer care services often end up attracting more customers than the others. Providing quality customer services has also greatly improved the tourism industry in terms of cost reduction.
When quality customer services are provided, then less money is utilized in the marketing budget. The company will thus save a lot of money it would otherwise have used in advertising and other activities used in marketing. This is because the word of mouth advertising would have spread many positive recommendations by virtue of their quality customer services. Loyalty in customers therefore provides free advertising and thus creates a lot of business customers in the process. Implications for Tourism Management Policies
Having established the important role that is played by quality customer care provisions, it is vital that tourism management policies be enhanced in line with factors that would help in the promotion of quality customer services. It is vital that tourism firms ensure the development of quality customer care services in its staff (Fyall, 2005). This can be through dealing with customers in writing, by telephone or face-to-face interactions. Tourism firms should train their staff well on the importance of body language or non-verbal communication.
They ought to conduct themselves in such a way that customers would feel welcome from the moment they meet any of the staff members. They should hence be smart, friendly and polite in their ways. First impression matter so much to a customer and could determine whether the said customer will come again or not. The below factors would help the tourism industry today in developing further by virtue of providing quality customer care services that would attract more customers and thus create more revenue.
According to Goeldner, most favorable public relations within touring forms often emphasize on respect for people. It is crucial that employees have reasonable means of security in their respective jobs and also treated with much consideration. This is because externally, tourism employees can have a very powerful influence to the public as they act as representatives of the business owner. It is thus an implication under the tourist management policies that such employees be well trained on being courteous, helpful and respect to visitors and the general public at large.
Employees ought to be knowledgeable of the fact that things that seem little may make a very big difference and thus the employee’s attitude can cam either make or break the efforts of the public relations in a tourism business (Inbakaran, 2008). Quality customer care services have also brought about the general development in the tourism industry by providing benefits to employees. This is because the staff members who work in a tourism business often benefit from offering high quality customer services.
Staff members should be trained and made to understand the importance of being loyal to their work, to adhere to organizational procedures, be friendly, separate personal life from professional life, be constructive and respectful and above all have a professional attitude in their work. Such training can bring about efficiency in customer care services thus affecting the general development of tourism as an industry. It is advised that tourism firms track and also measure the costs of retaining consumers as opposed to the costs of attracting new consumers.
If quality customer care is given, recommendations, value of familiarity and word of mouth consequently reduces the cost of communication and generally that of, marketing. It is evident that the cost of attracting new customers is at least three to five times higher than that of persuading already existing customers to become repeat buyers. If tourism firms observe a keen commercial identification and appreciation of long term value to existing customers, then the business is likely to be a success.
Another strategy that can be embraced by tourism firms for purposes of attracting more customers vis-s-vis quality customer services is encouragement of complains. Encouraging complaints is very useful to tourism businesses because these complaints can be utilized as part of a comprehensive service system of management that will address complaints of consumers and come up with remedies for the same. According to research, Middleton (2009) reveals that for every complaint that is made in a given company, it is possible that there may be 20 other customers who did not report their own dissatisfactions to the company.
Yet at the same time, this same customer is likely to tell ten other people about this dissatisfaction encountered at a particular destination. Research also reveals that many of the tourism firms have ineffective complaint management systems. 95 % of companies’ time is e said to be spent on resolving individual problems while only 5% spend their time correcting and analyzing faults in customer dissatisfaction (Rogers, 2001). Tourism businesses should thus develop a complain resolution management system that would enable them to tackle customer complaints and consequently improve their services for the good of the future of their business.
Tourism companies also ought to ensure that its employees are happy in their jobs. This is because the employees act as representatives of the company and relate directly to the tourists who visit their places. It is thus vital that these employees are happy and have an efficient work force. A happy employee is more likely to deliver excellent customer care services to customer as opposed to an unhappy one. Employees should be paid well for their work and rewarded well for excellent performance. This would in turn give them motivation to have pride in their work and deliver quality services to their customers for the good of the company.
Employees should also be treated with respect and valued for what they do. , as opposed to being undermined if they are for example sub-ordinate stuff. This is because offering quality customer care requires team work from all persons. Where respect is made for all, then the same can be transferred to the customers that visit these destinations with the hope of having the best tourism experience of their lives. Tourism firms can also improve in their customer services to attract more customers if they identify customer’s expectations.
If the firm is aware of what the customers need and expect from them, then it will be able to use this information and provide exactly what the customers look for (Canwell, 2003). However, even after finding out what the customers need and expect tourism firms also ought to exceed customer needs as well as their expectations. This is done so that the firm is able to offer its customers more than n they expect, offering the highest customer care services will enable them to out-compete other forms in the area thus gaining more customers.
This can happen through the uniqueness of their services, if their services are of high quality and maximum care for the needs of the customers, then the firm is likely to attain customer satisfaction. The firms can also ensure that they work as a team in caring for its customers and consequently achieving customer satisfaction as their main goal (Tassiopoulos, 2008). Conclusion In a nutshell, the tourism industry is very competitive today and thus almost all tourism firms provide the same services.
This has led to unnecessary competition in the industry the consequently affect the general performance of the tourism industry. However, one of the most efficient ways of remedying this problem is the adoption of quality customer care services implemented. Provision of high standard customer care services distinguishes one tourism firm from another and can attract more customers to one firm than another. Embracing strategies in ensuring that quality customer care services are provided however need the tourism management to implement policies in support of this.
The above discussed recommendations ought to be appreciated in management policies by being evaluated and implemented for purposes of ensuring quality customer care services and thus more customers. Adherence to the above recommendations will thus impact the tourism industry positively and consequently bring development in the said industry. References Canwell, D. , 2003. Leisure and Tourism. Unites States: Nelson Thornes. Fyall, A. , 2005. Tourism marketing: a collaborative approach. Britain: Cromwell press. Goeldner, R. , 2009. Tourism: Principles, Practices, Philosophies. United States: John Wiley. Inbakaran, R. 2005.
Understanding Resort Visitors through segmentation. Journal of Tourism and Hospitality Research, pp5-13. Middleton, C. , 2009. Marketing in Travel and Tourism. 4th ed. United States: Elsevier. Myra, P. 2010. Tourism. ASEAN Journal on Hospitality and Tourism. July, Volume 9, Number 2. Noe, P. , 2010. Tourist Customer Service Satisfaction; an Encounter Approach. United States: Routeledge. Pearce, L. , 2011. Tourism. Journal of Tourism Studies. pp. 1-3. Rodgers, J. , 2001. Travel and Tourism. Chicago: Heinemann. Tassiopoulos, D. , 2008. New Tourism Ventures: an Entrepreneurial and Managerial approach. South Africa: Juta.