An increase in customer satisfaction in the tourism sector since this time last year has been revealed in the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index.
This continues a positive momentum seen over the past six years.
Jet2holidays features in the UKCSI for the first time, secures the top spot as highest scorer in the industry, while lastminute.com is the most improved.
However, with more customers complaining than ever before, the Institute of Customer Service is urging companies to resolve issues at source in order to continue the upward trend.
The most recent UKCSI scores the UK’s tourism sector 80.7 out of 100 for overall customer satisfaction – 0.8 points higher than its July 2016 score, largely achieved through getting things “right first time”, better complaint handling and customer experiences over the phone.
The report highlights improvements from eight organisations within the sector.
The data reveals insights into key metrics, including strengths, complaints and changing channel use.
The tourism sector performs above the UK average on all customer experience measures except for the condition of delivered goods, where the sector performs just below the national average.
The sector generates fewer problems for its customer than any other at 9.1% against the national average is 13.1%.
But tourism has the highest proportion of problems related to the suitability of goods and services, at 30.9%. The UK average is 21.8%.
Institute of Customer Service CEO Jo Causon said: “Overall customer satisfaction is at its highest point since January 2014, the highest score ever, but this still has to translate into customer advocacy.
“With prices predicted to rise faster than incomes in the next year, it’s likely customer requirements will become even more exacting.
“Quality and consistency of the consumer journey is key to creating relationships that connect with the diverse and evolving needs of today’s consumers.
“Although effective complaint management does contribute positively to satisfaction, preventing problems at the source is a far more effective guarantee of loyalty and recommendation.”
Causon added: “The findings from this report paint a clear picture for the tourism sector: in order to continue building on customer satisfaction in an uncertain economic climate, place the customer at the centre of business strategy – or risk losing out to those who do.”
The retail (food and non-food) sector is the top overall for customer satisfaction, while banking is among the most improved.
Eight of the top 10 organisations are from these industries, including Amazon, John Lewis, Next, Aldi, Nationwide and M&S Bank.
Despite uncertainty following the Brexit vote, the UKCSI also reveals a growing trend for customers placing an emphasis on service over price,.
It found that more than a quarter of customers (28%) favour excellent service even if it means paying more, while only 15% always want the cheapest deal, even it means accepting no-frills service.
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