29 January 2014. Johannesburg. Constructive criticism tends to leave a bitter taste in your mouth when the words are spoken. Still, it is one of the things I believe to have been omitted from many parts in the travel industry that has to be brought back in order to ensure quality customer service.
Customers have become educated in more than one way and not knowing about certain problem areas within a tourism or hospitality organization might just be your downfall. In fact, customers are so well educated on such an array of subjects that some have become masters in constructive feedback. Think about it: most people, including you, wouldn’t hesitate to call a waiter back if the coffee is cold or the steak is not prepared to perfection. Especially when a substantial amount of money is being spent.
Like any person, hearing (and accepting) that you’ve done something wrong is one of the hardest things to hear. Many people immediately react aggressively or impatiently. Others don’t know how to react and decide to ignore the situation (which is, by the way, one of the worst things you could do).
Why have we not been able to teach our employees to handle constructive criticism? Why can’t we handle constructive criticism ourselves? Why are we afraid of hearing things that might in fact assist us in becoming market leaders?
I believe the reason is quite simple:
We’ve come to think that we’re invincible. South Africa is such a beautiful country, that we sometimes feel we can just sit back and let the sunny South do its own marketing and PR with it winning nature’s lottery and all. Unfortunately, domestic and international customers notice our lack of attention to their expectations and with such a wide variety of establishments to choose from, tourists now choose the ones that take their needs to heart. It’s not just about a pleasant holiday anymore. It’s about building relationships with people and places to which you can one day return again. It’s about trust. People are willing to pay more for quality customer service. Fast service is good, but quality service is excellent. Customers don’t remember days; they remember moments.
We need to start listening to our customers and friends from the industry – that is the only way we will be able to identify loopholes in the customer’s journey on which we can act.
Travelling Mystery Guest assists establishments with creating their customer journey map, visits establishments in a customer’s capacity and provides customized, comprehensive and constructive feedback and suggestions on aspects that need attention with regards to the customer’s experience. The company also offers regular workshops on customer service, customer behavior, storytelling and social media and presents these workshops at your establishment.
Workshops for February and March include the following topics:
– And THAT’s why the customer is in charge
– Exceeding your customer’s expectations without too much effort
– Content Creation and Sharing
– Facebook marketing
– Twitter marketing
– LinkedIn and Google+ marketing
For bookings and more information, contact Renate de Villiers on firstname.lastname@example.org or 079 110 5674. Workshop topics and content information will also be readily available here on the TMG blog.