A World Class Visitor Experience ….Maybe

Less than 10 percent of New Zealand tourism and hospitality businesses have a clear visitor experience strategy in place. This number decreases dramatically for smaller organisations that make up the majority of businesses in these industries.

This is severely impacting the visitor industry to get anywhere near its 2015 goal of delivering a world class visitor experience according to Chris Bell Managing Director of Customer Experiences Ltd a company that specialises in the development of high quality customer experiences.

High employee disengagement, low productivity, declining customer loyalty, a lack of innovation and creativity, a lack of leadership skills, a lack of a sustainable competitive advantage, the inability to add real value and an operational focus over a customer focus are just some of the areas of business performance that are all directly linked to a customer experience strategy.

A lack of knowledge and skill to develop a long-term customer experience strategy and complacency are the two main reasons behind the lack of action to address this critical situation according to Chris Bell

Bell said these industries persist in wasting money on the development and subsidising of outdated customer service training workshops that are not being supported by the industry and have very little impact on service performance and the overall customer experience.

A recent iStart- Microsoft survey found that 80 percent of business leaders surveyed believe that NZ business had an average to poor approach to customer satisfaction.

As tourism is spread across a wide range of businesses, these results are of concern.

The great news is that this current situation can be turned around reasonable quickly as the infrastructure is already in place via the quality brand Qualmark.

Currently licence holders see little value from their licence fees but this could change dramatically as any programme would need to focus on individual businesses and the development of their unique visitor experience. This approach would result in business growth and profitability, but more importantly a united and committed industry totally focused on the on-going development of their own individual visitor experiences that will collectively contribute to a unique New Zealand visitor experience.