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Transcript of Customer service
Customer service in Travel and Tourism
First impressions are what people judge you on when they first come to the company, its all about the way the company looks such as the staff being well dressed and approachable, how they communicate with the customers so them being happy to help and not turning their back on customers when they are trying to get something which all links in with putting the customer first and ensuring that they leave with a smile on their face so you know that you have helped them as much as you can. First impressions apply no matter what job you have in the tourism industry from staff at the check in at hotels and the airport through from the cleaners to the managers of hotels. If people don't look approachable your not going to want to go there or ask them for help which will put the company at a disadvantage as your likely to go and tell people who are then not going to want to go back or go at all to the destination or with the company.
Organisational efficiency is how fast and smoothly things rung and the little added extras that come with something, they're things such as airport lounges when your waiting for your flight, they give you added comfort when your waiting. Some airlines have their own private lounges or first class lounges where their gussets can go for an added extra price. Organisational efficiency also includes putting a effective system in place which ensures that you are able to deal with customers. (BTEC Level 3 Book1)
Customer service is the service that is provided to customers, before, during and after purchasing and using a good and or service.
In the tourism industry providing customer service is not just about meting customer needs its about exceeding them and making the experience better than it is, due to the amount of competition in the industry its important that you strive to be better than everyone else.
Examples of first impressions
Examples of company where first impressions are important in the travel and tourism industry would be somewhere such as Disney, as Disney is linked in with dreams and making them come true their staff always have to make sure that they are in character even before they enter the park. Another example of a company who pride themselves on first impressions are Virgin as when you work for virgin you have to make sure that you are always smiling and that the customer come first
Company image is another factor that is included in good customer service. Company image is all about the way in which the company looks through from the advertisement in brochures to the shop fronts but also the way the staff look as a poor image leads to barriers which affect the achievements of the company as a positive image leaves to greater profit and sales as more customers are likely to book with you as you look better than the rest and no one really wants to book a holiday in a travel agents that looks tatty ans scruffy as it gives off the wrong impression as it makes you think that if they cant look after the shop front then how are they going to look after their customers. The mission statement of the company is also important as it tells you a little bit about the company in a few words which catches your attention.
Examples of Company image
An example of a company who pride themselves on the way the company look would be Virgin. Virgins mission statement is ' To embrace the human spirit and let it fly' this is a short and snappy mission statement and is easy for people to remember it.
Another exaomple of a company that pride themselves on company image and uniform standards are British Airways. The cabin crew that work for british airways have guidelines that they have to follow to ensure that they are good enough to work for BA. (http://www.gocabincrew.com/getting-selected/uniform-standards-please/)
Hair no longer than collar length, clean and clipped back (food handlers)!
Worn up hairstyles must be neat and tidy with no wispy bits.
1 stud ear ring in silver.
No chipped nail varnish and must be either red or very natural pale shades, no blacks, blues etc.
Lipstick to match your uniform colors.
No external badges on clothing or bags (only name badges or luggage labels).
Tights only in black (free from snags) always carry spares.
Shoes polished and plain black for male & female, no buckles etc. Ladies shoes no higher than a couple of inches for the heel.
Uniform bags and suitcases plain black or navy blue and no stickers (wheelie bags to fit in the overhead locker).
Jackets to be worn fastened at all times.
Gillets (in flight overalls) to be worn at all times during the service on board.
Hats to be worn when walking through the airport and in the public eye.
Uniform jackets to be worn at the same time (as a crew) i.e. all on or all off, if it is hot weather outside.
Ties and cravats to be worn at all times.
Shirts clean and well ironed, crisp white.
Sleeves never to be rolled up.
Skirts to sit on the knee no higher.
Trousers only for men and not to be altered e.g. narrowed.
Name badges to be worn at all times with your wings on your jacket lapel.
No chewing gum EVER.
No eating in front of public unless a bad delay or discreetly on board.
Do not use mobile phones whilst walking through the terminal or on board the aircraft.
No ruck sacks or shopping bags.
Never use bad language or critic the airline.
An example of this would be making sure that all calls are returned when promises to the customer so that they aren't waiting forever, this ensues them that you are interested in their business and actually care about their needs, also making sure that you send the travel documents to the customer in good time so that they have them in plenty of time and they don't need to worry about making time to collect them. Most travel agents do this as it ensures that they get repeat business of guests that have used them but also some guests might recommend them to friends and family
Example of organisational efficiency
Speed and accuracy of service
Speed and accuracy of service is another important factor to customer service as its one of the main components that guests like as it ensures that they have a fast service.
You must be organised- this doesn't mean that you have to know everything it just means that you have to be able to know where to find information and facts, for example if a customer is booking a specific holiday such as Skiing you should know where to get the specialist holiday information
You need product knowledge- If your not sure where the best Skiing locations are or what the best cruises are for a guest booking a cruise its best that you do a bit of research to ensure that you are getting the right deal for them, www.worldtravelguide.net is a helpful website that you could use to assist you
Product knowledge that also includes information about your organisation-This is important as some customers might not be sure as to what your company sells so you need to make sure you know little bits and bobs about the company itself such as shop opening times, who deals with the complaints, who guests can contact, your ability to use the computer and telephone system
You expertise in using the available technology- you need yo ensure that you are able to transfer people through to the correct line for them to get the service that they need without loosing them as well as making sure that you have saved their documents correctly as not being able to do this could cause the customer not to use you again
(BTEC Level 3; Travel and tourism book 1)
Example of Speed and accuracy
Examples of speed and accuracy are making sure that you meet customer expectations such as ensuring that you don't keep customers waiting too long when they call or when they are booking a holiday as it might make them want to go to competitors. Customer expect to be greeted straight away, this also apply for telephones they should be answered politely and you should respond to emails straight away and not make customers wait as they might loos interest or think that your not interested.
Consistency ensure that the service to the customer is of high standard all the time and that the service to every customer is the same. This is so everyone gets equal service and the same experience no matter who they are or what they want, this also shows how professional the company is as they are able to keep their customers happy and coming back.
Examples of consistency
Most company's in the travel and tourism are prime examples of consistency as they all ensure that the customer service you get is the same no matter how many times you go. For example travel agents if you book a holiday with them and they give you good customer service your likely to go back and expect exactly the same service as last time ant they're going to ensure that you get it as they want to make sure they get as many customers back to book with them again as it increases the chance of customer loyalty and the customer telling their friends and family about the company
Products and service offered
The products and services that are offered are different depending on which tourism organisation you are looking at. They all have to make sure that they are doing their best to meet the customers needs by producing the right product. this could be anything from making sure that a hotel has a accessible room for guests with disability as well as catering for blind and death guests to ensure that they have a good time whilst they stay. making sure that there are reception staff on duty all the time so if guests have any problems they are able to call reception with their problems. (BTECTL3T&TBook1)
Example of product and services offered
Hilton hotel are a good example of a company that offer a specific product and service, for their disabled customers Hilton offer a total accessibility package to make the say as enjoyable and easy as possible. The Hilton London Metrople offers an accessibility map that allows guests to see how they can access the building from any of the entrances as well as where to leave your car, they make sure that they tell you the contact details for reception in case you need any help as well as mentioning there are porters on hand 24/7 to help out. The Hilton have thought about about their disabled guests as they have ensured that there are no steps leading to the main reception ,they have also located the hotel shop on same floor as the reception so its easy accessible to all guests. the main hotel restaurant is also on the ground floor and staff are on hand to help out where they are needed. the other restaurants, cafe and heath club are easy accessible by lifts. There are 14 accessible rooms in the hotel which are all in the west wing which are are fitted with a lover bed and various other features to help your stay as enjoyable as possible (http://www3.hilton.com/resources/media/hi/LONMETW/en_US/pdf/en_LONMETW_Accessibility_Pack_Aug2013.pdf)
Meeting customers needs and exceeding expectations
Meeting customers needs is good but the main aim is to exceed them and to keep the customer satisfied whilst doing so. You are able to do this by making sure the product and service is right for them and showing them that you have excellent customer service skills and are willing to help them as much as you can to ensure that they will have to best time. Although customers might have an idea of what they want as a travel agent you are the expect and you have all the help with technology to help the customer out to get the best they can, if they have a set price in mind its your job to beet it but also to add extras into the cost such as on flight meals, transport and transfers.
Not all the time customers want to book a holiday with you sometimes they have already booked it and are just seeking advice and help to make sure that they have booked the right thing, this happens most of the time with customers that book holiday online they want to ensure that they have booked the right package and that they aren't getting ripped off.
Dealing with complaints and problems
Dealing with customer complaints and problems is one of the main examples of good customer service as some customer may be unrealistic and problem might occur out of nothing. This isn't the same with all customers as most are reasonable but you always get the odd one. Most companies are always reassuring customer that their problems will be solved.
Importance of customer service to the Organisation
Customer service is very important to the organisation as it helps them keep existing customers, as the travel and tourism industry is huge there are lots of competitors out there so keeping customers is vital to surviving. As lots of customers book their holiday in advance and they usually cost a lot of money you need to make sure that your doing a good job. The organisation has a job to keep the customer happy right up until they fly and even when they get back of their holiday to ensure that they have a good time and enjoy the holiday that they booked with you. Travel agents do this by keeping in touch with the customer all the way through the holiday checking if everything is okay and if they need any other extra services included in their package. Some travel agents might also send out destination information so guests are able to see more of the destination before they go so they have a little bit of an understanding before they leave.
By doing little extra things you are increasing customer loyalty which plays a huge part to good customer service, as customer will keep coming back and you will get repeat business which will potentially increase profit and sales as well as them telling other people about the way they were treated and how satisfied they were with their product.
Enchanting the organisations image also plays a large part to good customer service as the image of a company is influences the reputation as if an organisation doesn't look good people aren't likely to go there.
Providing an edge over the competition is important as the tourism industry is that bit you need to do something to make you better than other competitors.
-An organisation that strives to be better or have an advantage over its compertition.This could be through a number of ways such as making your prices better than theirs or producing a more attractive product. It might also be though a higher level of customer service.
Increasing sales and usage by attracting new customers, there's many ways in which you are able to attract new customers such as promotions and marking of the product. New customers are just as valid as old customers even if they already have customer loyalty as new customers aren't to sure about the product. As there are a lot of different sectors now in the tourism industry and there are new ways of promoting them and making them appeal to lots of different markets such as teens, families and couples.
If the effort isn't put in though the staff and the organisation might suffer as poor service is what pushes customers away. You need to ensure excellent service all the time and make sure that all staff are trained and maintain the highest standard of work no matter what. Poor service might lead to negative publicity for the company as well as loss of sails, loss of repeat business which will seriously affect the business as that's what they rely on, staff reputation which could really damage the company as not all the staff are the same but they will all be getting judged just because of many one of a couple of people who work for the same company.
Importance to the customer
Importance to the customer is just as important as the other it includes meeting individual customer needs, every customer has different needs and in order to set up a good business you need to ensure that every customer is treated exactly how they need to be treated. There are different types of customer such as international and external customers. International customers are colleges and other members of staff who work within the same organisation to provide products and service where are external customers are people form outside the orgaisation who but the product and service.
Customer loyalty develops over a long time and takes a while to build so when you get loyal customers you need to ensure that you do the best you can to keep them and make sure you treat them well, they are the customers who are most likely to recommend the product and services to others which is the best way to get repeat business
Importance to the employee
Customer service is also very important to the employee as its come down to them, A happier working environment creates a higher self esteem for the employee, this is because everyone is working together as a team to create the best they can. If everyone works together at the same level and follow all the same procedures and rules then everyone is less stressed and everyone is doing the job as well as keeping the customer happy, this leads to job satisfaction as providing excellent customer service leads to happy customers which is rewarding and makes the employee feel better about themselves as they know they have pleased the customer.
Job security is another factor as if the employee works hard to meet targets and sales and constantly gets good customer service they they are ensuring that they are going to be able to keep their job or even get promoted, for some employees who provide good service they might be rewarded with a promotion which would lead to even better standards of service to the customer as they might feel the need to prove themselves to show they can do the job to the best of their ability
Excellent customer service Disney
Disney pride themselves on their customer service and so they should, they are a huge organisation and as guests are paying so much to go to Disney you would expect a high standard of service as to most guest the trip to Disney is one in a life time and they wont return so Disney do the best they can to ensure that guest have an amazing time whilst they are there and a trip that they can remember no matter what.
Disney have come up with 7 customer service tips to make the experience of Disney excitable and magical. As the whole magic of Disney come from the cast and the member of staff who work there on a day to day basis to make drams come true for every one no matter how old or sound they are. The staff from the ride assistance to the ticket box workers to the characters that you see all the time right through to management and behind the scene workers everyone follows the same advice and riles to make it a day to remember.
Disney use Snow Whites Seven Dwarfs to create their amazing customer service which are;
1. Be HAPPY.. make eye contact and smile!
2. Be like SNEEZY... greet and welcome each and every guest. Spread the spirit of Hospitality... its contagious!
3.Don’t be BASHFUL…seek out Guest contact!
4. Be like DOC…provide immediate Service recovery!
5. Don’t be GRUMPY…always display appropriate body language at all times!
6. Be like SLEEPY…create DREAMS and preserve the “MAGICAL” Guest experience!
7. Don’t be DOPEY…thank each and every Guest!
These are really good customer service tips to follow as they link in with the whole magic of Disney and they cover everything there is to cover to create excellent customer service for the guests but also a good environment for the staff to work in
Excellent customer service at Alton Towers
Alton Towers are a local organisation that also pride themselves on customer service and the way in which they train their staff. Alton towers have 10 magical rules of customer satisfaction that they work with to ensure that their surest get the best out of their service. As Alton towers is part of the Merlin Entertainment group this also applies for places such as British Airways London Eye, Madame Tussaud's and Warwick castle. Customer service to Alton Towers is the most import factor for them as it is vital to provide the highest level of customer service so that customers will recommend them to friends and family, this is important to Alton towers as its how they get their customers as well as returning customers. Training is an important part of providing good customer service as it ensures that all employees are delivering the same consistent high level of customer service, all new employees attend a 2 day training course as part of their induction and returning employees attend a re freshers course to ensure that they are still up to standard winch are 'Welcome to the Beating Heart of fun' and 'Welcome back to the Beating Heart of fun'
The 10 magical rules of customer service are
1. Warm welcome
2. First impressions
3. Stars of show
4. Appearances count
5. Excuse me?
6. Fun, Fun, Fun
8. Positive thinking
Although there are more customer service rules at Alton towers they get the same message across as the ones at Disney such as the customers always first and that you need to make sure that they way you work is impressive as first impressions matter, especially with a business where you are always interacting with customer you need to make yourself approachable to customers so that they feel comfortable when they need help or just in general so you are making their day as fun and enjoyable as possible
Customer service is important to Alton Towers as they have customers from all over such as international customer, customers from other organizations as well as external customers to the park. Alton Towers have recognised that all customers have different needs and that they must provide a service that matches that of what the customer needs. They need to make sure that they take into account their customers from other countries as they might have different needs from their ones from the UK. This could be anything from religious needs to food needs and Alton towers need to take that into account.
Example of meeting customer needs and expectations
Four seasons is a well know brand of resorts and they work together with their management and employees to meet their customers needs and expectations. They do this in various different ways. they even have little touches to make the work day better for their guests. They have an over night show shine service for their guests who might be staying on business. High speed internet access, transport to appointments, local phone calls, morning newspapers, coffee and tea with pastries served in the lobby. These are little bits and bobs that are put on for their guests to make the Monday mornings brighter than they might be back home. They also offer twice daily guest room touch ups which is a perfect idea for those guests that might come back after a hard morning at work for a nap and they go back out. This shows that four seasons are trying to meet even the littlest of their customer needs by trying to provide little bits to make their days. Four seasons believe that their greatest acetic is the key to success is their people, they believe that each of them need a sense of dignity, pride and satisfaction in what they do and the believe that they do this by providing excellent customer service to their guests so that they return (http://www.fourseasons.com/about_four_seasons/service-culture/)
Example of dealing with complains and problems
All companies have their own way of dealing with complaint and problems that they get of their guests. An example of a company that deal with complains and problems from their customers in a good way are Trip adviser, they are a prime example of this as they are always dealing with different complaints and what people are saying about their holidays, accommodation and service. Trip adviser have a Notice & take down procedure as some of the statement that are posted aren't true and they are not able to risk this happening.If the complaint is genuine trip adviser are able to offer help to their customer relevant to what has happened and the experience that they have had