Tourism Industry News
Travel industry losing revenues through poor multi-channeling
The travel industry, including airlines and online travel companies, is losing revenues through poor multi-channel integration and customer service, according to a new report from Foviance and RXPerience.
The report titled, ‘How the travel sector is failing to embrace multi-channel selling’, reveals that very few travel organisations are integrating their online and offline channels effectively to provide a consistent level of customer service across all channels.
The detailed research is being published at the same time as GMTV launches a campaign fronted by former Conservative minister Edwina Curry to improve customer service in the UK.
It shows that travel companies are focussing on technical challenges rather than customers’ interactions with their brands.
Only one travel organisation performed well both online and offline and the remainder scored well below acceptable levels in the call centre experience they provided.
Best multi-channel experience was delivered by Lastminute/Travelocity, scoring 80 per cent against the overall criteria.
A primary difference was the higher degree of importance the company placed on the customer.
Poorer examples of contact-centre experience came from Opodo and Ryanair/Exphotels who averaged 42 per cent.
In these cases, a call centre agent could only help if the customer knew exactly what they wanted. Agents could not even search for a holiday using basic customer criteria.
Companies that ignore how their customers want to interact and move without barriers between channels are not only missing revenue opportunities, but are also in danger of losing their audience, according to the report.
Paul Blunden, CEO of Foviance, said, “Customers don’t make allowances for different sectors and are increasingly judging the experience they receive from one organisation against their expectations from others. Within the travel sector, single channel strategies are no longer adequate and customer experience must be provided seamlessly.”
Paul Weald, managing director of RXPerience, added, “The travel companies that scored particularly badly were those that compounded lack of integration in the website with a poor customer support experience. Better training, access to information and empowerment would help address some of these failings”.
The report also revealed that the level of customer service being delivered by the travel sector is at a far lower level than its peers in the retail sector.