It has been abundantly clear for a number of years now that just focusing on the customer service development of frontline staff is not the way to improve visitor service and experience levels across the industry according to Chris Bell Managing Director of Customer Experiences a company that specialises in the development of quality customer experiences.
We wasted many thousands of dollars on the pre Rugby World Cup financial disaster that was the Kia Ora Mai Essential Service Skills program; a heavily subsidised front-line training program that attracted very little participation from the industry and contributed little to the improvement of service standards as a result.
It was clear from the lack of involvement from businesses with the Kia Ora Mai program that this approach to service development does not produce results and ends up being a cost rather than an investment.
Working with the right development strategies we believe the industries 3 ITOs will have a unique opportunity to have a significant impact on the overall visitor experience. However this will not happen unless they get up to speed with 21st century methodologies around this area of business and industry service development.
The three major benefits of a quality visitor experience are higher spending by existing visitors, repeat visits and today’s most powerful form of advertising word of mouth recommendation.
Its clear that we are not currently fully capitalising on these benefits and that will have a significant impact on industry growth.
What Bell is suggesting is a new approach to exceeding visitors’ expectations using current infrastructure.
This approach would give individual businesses across the industry the opportunity to develop their unique consistently delivered, quality visitor experience.
New Zealand tourism will at best, if it continues to just market itself on our beautiful scenery, see reduced spending and at worst lose market share and visitor spending. The focus must now be a combination of our current marketing focus and the visitor experience that’s just not marketing hype, but one that is delivered to every visitor, every time, regardless of their nationality.
We have the strategy, the expertise, the program and the infrastructure. What’s required now is the commitment.
Chris Bell is managing director of Customer Experiences, a company that specialises in helping businesses improve the way in which they interact with customers and clients. – firstname.lastname@example.org; www.customerexperiences.co.nz 027 2792360