NB: This is a guest article by Michelle Fuller, director of UK-based research consultancy eDigitalResearch.
Following the latest wave of eTravel Benchmark results, research shows that, yet again, travel websites are being severely let down by poor customer service, with 48 out of 51 websites providing email and telephone capability that requires urgent attention.
Brands are investing in their online experience but are failing to follow this through to after sales care with inadequate customer service.
Weather disruption is just one excellent example that highlights the vital role customer services can play in reassuring consumers.
It is vital that companies are using these tools to their advantage, ensuring they provide a positive overall experience.
With our benchmarking experience at eDigitalResearch, we’ve found that there are just a few, simple steps that travel companies can follow to improve their customer services, overall website usability and brand advocacy.
1.Make contact details easy to find.
Too often, our feedback highlights just how many customers struggle to even locate basic contact details such as telephone numbers, email addresses or contact forms. It is crucial that consumers know there is someone to contact should they need to, but hiding these details behind an attractive website will benefit no-one.
2. Keep people informed.
We often pick up on negative criticism where companies are failing to regularly communicate with consumers – whether that’s just an automated email response to let them know that their query is being dealt with,or a simple telephone queue system that frequently updates callers will more often than not eliminate these problems.
Our feedback indicates that people’s satisfaction with brands increases when small efforts like this are made.