The travel sector has the second worst reputation for customer service, new research has found.
As part of the new Make Every Conversation Count report, FM Outsource asked 1,000 people about their experiences with and attitudes towards customer service in 10 business sectors including utilities, travel, insurance, hospitality and grocery retail.
Respondents were asked to rate the different sector’s customer service, taking into account the experiences of other people they know and those they’ve read in online reviews.
The research found that the travel sector was one of the most likely to be rated poor or extremely poor (29% vs average of 20%), coming second to the utilities sector (32%).
Respondents were also asked to rate the quality of customer service delivery from good to poor based on their experience.
The travel sector was again one of the most likely to be rated poor or extremely poor (21% vs average of 17%), whereas banking and grocery were most likely to be rated as good or very good (49% and 50% respectively, vs average of 42%).
The report has found that these negative customer service interactions are having a detrimental effect on a brand with nearly a third (31%) of consumers have told friends or family to avoid a brand following a negative customer service interaction.
Martin Brown, CCO at FM Outsource, said:
“Our findings show that, as far as consumers are concerned, the travel sector currently offers one of the lowest standards of customer service and therefore has one of the worst reputations.
“Airlines in particular are currently undergoing a very challenging time following the effects of the pandemic, with thousands of customers awaiting refunds and compensation for cancelled or rescheduled flights.
“Travel should be an enjoyable experience for all and frustratingly this year the experience has been very stressful for many customers, largely due to the way customer service teams have handled the disruptions. The value of a smooth, efficient customer service function at times like these cannot be underestimated. While customers may be unhappy about changes to their travel plans, the relationship with those customers can be protected with the help of a professional, highly trained customer service team.”