The travel and hotels sector managed to score enough points to get into the sector top 3, lacking only in the Time and effort and Resolution pillars. In case of the latter, it makes sense – travelling customers can be more sensitive to issues than others, since being halfway across the world and having your flight cancelled or arriving at a hotel room infested with cockroaches is usually a bit more stressful than a bad movie theatre experience or buying stale bread from a shop around the corner. Being almost a percent short compared to the remaining sectors is, therefore, understandable.
Generally, the sector is doing well: a year-on-year improvement can be seen in all pillars, with above-average results in Expectations (almost +3%) and price-quality ratio, where this sector actually wins with a result of 2.6% above the market average. Several brands have dropped in rank compared to last year, though the fault is not theirs – the others have just shown even more improvement.
This year’s superstars have one thing in common: Personalization. The Čedok travel agency has shown remarkable results this year, improving their score by a whopping 0.8 points. Most often, their customers praise the agency’s consulting services, both in person and on the phone. Most comments could be summarized like this: “the operator explained everything I needed quickly and clearly, she was very friendly, and my dispute was processed without hesitation”. Čedok has put some good work into other metrics as well, moving up 34 places and coming in 51st.
A true master of Personalization is Airbnb, a newcomer who has taken the 42nd spot in the ranking. The core point of the service (private accommodation) fits the idea of personalization much better than your regular hotel – getting travel tips or a private tour of the city from the lessor is not rare at all. The company has an entire department dedicated to customer experience and is a true trend-setter in the area.
The Marriott hotel is very aware of the fact that even a small thing can have a big effect on customer experience. It is customary for the porters to steal a discreet look at the luggage tag to address the guest by their name. And of course, extraordinary respect and courtesy towards the guests goes without saying.
The imaginary award for the biggest leap in the rankings goes to the Exim Tours travel agency, who has moved up by an impressive 43 places and ranked 40th this year. The company has tremendously improved in all the metrics, most notably in the Expectations (+0.7 points), Integrity (+0.6 points) and Time and effort (+0.6 points) pillars. The feedback from customers serves as a proof, since their comments make it obvious that they know what to expect from the company, and that they are happy to come back again and again. The fact that several of the company’s offices have received the Czech Service Quality System certificate in 2017 most likely added to the result as well. The CSQS is an innovative, volunteer-based tool owned by the Ministry of Regional Development and operated by CzechTourism. It is designed to systematically help improve the quality of services in tourism and related industries, with focus on customer experience being one of the main principles of the CSQS.
“I went in to pick a vacation destination. The travel agent was very friendly – she listened to what we were looking for, showed us hotels in the destinations we picked, and even shared her own experiences.” (Blue Style)
“I booked a trip online and then on the phone. The communication was great, and the agent always called exactly when she promised she would. She was very patient and friendly despite the barrage of questions I had and always explained everything perfectly.” (Invia)
“I am very happy with this airline. I especially like their website – it’s easy to navigate, to book tickets, and to find all the necessary information. The on-board service is always great as well.” (Lufthansa)