Why do Travel Companies ignore customers?
The pressure to improve customer support was already hitting the travel & tourism industry pre-COVID, and the demand for quick, personalized, and effortless interactions has only taken off.
Providing good customer service doesn’t just impact the reputation (and earn public praise), but also revenue: 82% of customers have stopped doing business with a company due to poor support and 32% have done this multiple times. Stellar customer service in the travel industry is even more necessary now in the post-COVID world.
So how is the travel industry delivering against these expectations today? The Customer Service Benchmark Report analyzes how 3,000 of the world’s airlines, hotels, cruise lines, online travel agencies, and ground transportation companies provide support on two of the most popular digital platforms: email and Twitter.
It reveals that travel companies are failing to meet the demands of the modern traveler and are at risk of losing revenue and loyalty as a result.
Guests can’t get quick support on their channel of choice
Customers want to reach out on their channel of choice, and these preferences change based on a person’s context and issue. Only 12% of travel and hospitality companies offer support on both channels, nearly 38% of companies don’t offer email support and only 46% have Twitter profiles. Even worse: companies ignore 70% of emails and 46% of social messages.
Ground transportation provide the best email and social support
Travelers looking for support will be most satisfied with the responses from rail, bus, and rental car companies – the highest performers on the email-SPI. Airlines provide the worst email support.
On the Social-SPI, ground transportation companies also provide the best responses. This is followed closely by airlines and cruise lines. Hotels and resorts, on average, are the worst providers of Twitter support.
Travel companies leave questions unanswered
Even if companies do respond, though, the customer is not fully satisfied with the response. This leads to increased support costs as a traveler would likely follow up for a complete response on a different channel.
Surprisingly, more than half of companies that responded to emails (53%) and 72% of Twitter direct messages did not include key information that would answer a person’s question.
On-time responses: Travel companies are quick to respond
When it comes to customer service, two-thirds of customers say valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do. Responsiveness is one area where travel companies are performing well.
Overall, 57% of emails are responded to within the first three hours and more than one in five companies respond to direct messages within the first 15 minutes.