What is Customer Service in 2017?

December 4, 2017 2:08 pm

Customer service. It’s about providing good service, right? Sure, it used to be as simple as that. But now, and into 2017, it’s about the entire customer experience.

We’ve been exploring how tourism operators can stay relevant – and this week is no different. 2017 is going to be the year of the customer, so let’s chat about how you can get prepared.

Your customers are smarter than ever

They expect more, so you need to be able to match those expectations. It’s 2017, so if you haven’t embraced technology in your tourism business, it’s time to check right in. Use your marketing and advertising to tell them what they can expect by visiting.

And it’s not just your visitors who are smart, they also have intelligent devices. Leverage the mobile phone in the entire customer experience, from connecting with them to staying in touch after the visit.

If you’re old fashioned and love the power of word of mouth, social media is where it’s at. When a customer has an amazing experience, they share it. Be so amazing that your customers want to tell everyone about their experience.

The customer experience is the new marketing

Alongside social media and technology, self-service tools are a must-have. Take advantage of the customer service tools at your disposal to give them the direction they need to accomplish tasks themselves. Think about what self-service applications you can introduce in your tourism outlet.

Customers will pay for excellent service. This gives businesses the opportunity to differentiate through a consistent approach to customer service, which goes beyond the ‘norm’.

Visitors want to be engaged

Your visitors want interesting, hands on experiences. It’s a must to have definite key points of difference to be able to compete in a more sophisticated market.

Superior guest experiences require you to make the right tactical partnerships to continually stay ahead of the competition and truly be creative.

Social media is only part of the story.

It’s about exploring how to minimise the gap between marketing fantasy and front-end reality. Don’t promote an inferior product or experience and feel that you need to be part of the social media space if your service offering doesn’t match. You will do more damage to the brand that not doing anything at all.

Be courageous and get a handle on key strengths from a service offering, as well as the skill gaps that will continue to water down the brand. Mystery shopping is not just for retailers so if you are not undertaking it at least a quarter you don’t have insight into areas of need but also potential market opportunities that come from strengths.

Remember the key principles we’ve discussed in the past few blogs.

  • Utilise IT to improve the customer experience
  • Tell stories in different ways
  • Get creative with your signage and interior
  • Speak their language
  • Know your customers.

So, there you have it. When we talk of customer service, what we really mean is the customer experience. Do what you can to make it a good one. You’ve got to continuously innovate.

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