Tourism customers most likely to use social media to interact with companies

By Lauren Houghton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Social media, Customer satisfaction, Customer service, Customer

The report showed 44% of customers used digital methods to interact with companies in the tourism sector, the highest percentage from all sectors surveyed.
The report showed 44% of customers used digital methods to interact with companies in the tourism sector, the highest percentage from all sectors surveyed.
Recent results from the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) released by the Institute of Customer Service showed that 44% of customers used digital methods to interact with companies in the tourism sector, the highest percentage from all sectors surveyed. 

The report measures customer satisfaction, and also showed that just over seven per cent of customers that reported a problem that occurred with an organisation in the tourism sector used social media to do so, again the most in any sector.

Out of thirteen different sectors tourism rates sixth for customer satisfaction, having a UKCSI score of 80 out of 100, which is a couple of points above the national average. The sector also manages to exceed the expectations of customers 22 per cent of the time and only failed to meet them for 9 per cent.

The report showed that there is significant variation in performance between different companies in the industry, as well as recognising a close correlation between customer satisfaction and continuing loyalty.

A customer-facing industry

The hospitality businesses that work as part of the tourism sector have customer facing jobs, which means ensuring consumer satisfaction is a very important part of their work.

Chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service Jo Causon said: “There is a clear link between customer satisfaction and business performance. Companies that are performing well are delivering across the range of 28 customer priorities assessed in the UKCSI and are able to improve their loyalty rating which is strongly linked to improved performance.

“In this sector organisations have the potential to differentiate using service, especially through an integrated approach with a strong online presence.”

With 44 per cent of customers using digital methods such as social media to interact with companies that operate in the tourism sector, such as hotels, the report suggests that this is a part of the service operators have to make sure they are utilising.

Causon said: “In an industry where experience is everything it is extremely important that those working in this sector are consistently meeting and exceeding customers’ expectations. The high use of social media by customers means that organisations need to constantly monitor customer feedback in order to resolve issues, understand future needs and protect and enhance their reputation.”

BigHospitality has been reporting recently on the rising importance of social media within the hospitality industry, and the UKCSI report stating how much tourism customers use it to communicate with companies highlights its prevalence further.

Last week we discussed whether chefs should be involved in their restaurant's social media,​and in June Twitter will be running #RestaurantWeek​ to help the UK restaurant industry boost business and ultimately, connect with its customers.  

Related topics: Business, Digital, Trends & Reports

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1 comment

Social media is key for hospitality and tourism

Posted by Natalie Martin - Kitch Media,

This report is really interesting and businesses should take note. There are still a large proportion that do not see the benefit or correlation to sales and customer service is now delivered online (via social media and review sites). The face-to-face interaction with customers will always be number one, but there is a need for businesses to deliver this online too.

Whether it be to tell customers about a new product, great events or just have a chat there is also the benefit of hearing what they have to say about their experience. If it's good you have created a loyal advocate. If it is bad you have the opportunity to turn the conversation around and win them back as a customer. It's no longer good enough to do customer reviews look at your net promoter score you've achieved, you need to actively engage and get people recommending you. There's no point in asking them if they will if you never measure this or continue to develop a relationship with them as you will never know or possibly reap the benefits.

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