Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You h...

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Savings on worldwide adventures with Explore

Savings on worldwide adventures with Exp…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:00

Explore has launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7.

New route to Seattle makes it one to watch for 2017

New route to Seattle makes it one to wat…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:12

Seattle is expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching March 2017, new hotel...

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased connections across Canada

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:04

Air Transat has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017.

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplement fares

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplemen…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:02

Oceania Cruises has launched a reduced single supplement promotion for solo travellers, with guests offered single supplements fares from 25% on seven itineraries, booked before December 31.

Mall of America welcomes arrival of MythBusters

Mall of America welcomes arrival of Myth…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:00

Running throughout autumn until January 15, 2017, visitors can ignite their curiosity and discover whether they can really huff and puff to blow a house down; if running in the...

Emirates to launch new daily service to Fort Lauderdale

Emirates to launch new daily service to …

Monday, 17 October 2016 11:00

Emirates has announced that it will launch a daily service between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, on December 15, serving the South Florida area, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami and...

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-Roads Touring

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-R…

Monday, 17 October 2016 08:42

Small group tour specialist Back-Roads Touring has launched its summer 2017 brochure to reveal a unique line up of new itineraries in Switzerland, Scandinavia, the Baltics, France, Iberia and Russia.

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in 2017

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in …

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:16

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has announced five star-studded cruises for 2017 following the arrival of its new main brochure.

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:11

Singapore Airlines will fly non-stop between Singapore and Manchester from October 30 as part of its northern winter schedule.













With the Huffington Post earlier this year declaring customer services to be “one of the last frontiers of sustainable competitive advantage”, and behavioural research company TARP revealing the true potential of poor service – a dissatisfied customer on average tells 12 people who then tell six more people each – the importance of customer service has never been greater to travel firms.

Yet, it is an area where there is room for improvement. According to the Institute of Customer Service some travelers will go as far as selecting their airport based on its reputation for providing a positive experience.

Here are five of the key trends which will be shaping customer service in the travel sector throughout 2015. Each offers a fresh opportunity for companies to reinvent the service they offer customers and in so doing gain significant competitive advantage.

1) The arrival of Generation Y

Generation Y – those born between 1980 and 2000 – will in 2015 account for almost US$200 billion in spending per year worldwide. In the workplace, Gen Y already accounts for 80% of the total number of employees in some contact centres. This is a significant generational shift which will gather momentum in 2015.

Excellent multi-taskers. Generation Y grew up surrounded by computers, mobile devices and video games consoles. This generation is confident with technology but it also has a shorter attention span. The Internet puts everything at Gen Y’s fingertips, and this affects not only how they expect customer service to be delivered but the level of service they expect.

Travel companies that recognise this shift, and re-engineer their customer service provision accordingly – even going as far as seeking out contact centre partners with a high proportion of Gen Y employees – will find themselves more in tune with the customer service demands of 2015.

2) Focus on multilingual campaigns

The world is globalising at a remarkable rate. To give just one indication of this shift, in 2011 32% of UK GDP came from export, up from 26% in 2002 and 24% in 1992 - that 6-8% uplift represents billions of extra pounds in revenue coming from overseas markets.

For travel firms looking at customers beyond the UK this without doubt a positive, but it also presents a significant challenge: how to communicate with consumers who speak different languages, who operate in different time zones, and who have radically different cultures?

Anyone who doubts the importance of this issue for 21st Century business should consider this fact:
a 2011 study from the European Commission found that 42% of consumers never purchase products and services in other languages. Multilingual customer service is fast becoming a major issue for UK businesses, and we can expect to see this reflected in the customer service offering from travel companies.

3) Selling emotions

As we already mentioned, the globalization of the industry in terms of affinity to multichannel and multilingual services, now shaping the industry, demands flexibility in regards to business model and services offered. But, what is even more significant is the increasing importance of culture as a factor giving competitive advantage in the travel sector. This means that companies now need to sell not only products and services, but emotions. More and more travel companies will turn to Business process outsourcing (BPO) providers of customer care services for innovative approaches to enhance the customer experience by selling emotions, reduce costs, and gain flexibility and scalability.

4) Increased focus on culture of customer service

Culture matters both in terms of local culture of the people as well as the corporate culture of your customer service team. Crucially there needs to be a strong cultural fit between the two. To truly act as an extension of your business and brand, it’s key that customer service agents understand and embrace the culture and values of your organisation as well as the people they are serving.

In most cases it will be impractical to site your customer service function in your home territory; you will need to look overseas to find sufficient language skills. Think carefully about the region and country you choose. Is it politically stable? What is the education system like? Is there a historical affinity between your country and the one in question? Do its people move freely overseas and so gain the sort of experiences which will help them to adapt to the culture of your customers?

5) New nearshore locations

For many years now, corporates have been torn between the high costs of outsourcing customer service to European countries, and the low service levels often prevalent in offshore locations. Yet this is changing rapidly, with many travel companies recognising South Eastern Europe as a viable location for customer service.

Indeed, the 2014 AT Kearney Global Services Location Index ranked Bulgaria 1st in Europe and amongst Top 10 worldwide most attractive outsourcing destinations for customer support. With its combination of multilingual skills, a highly educated and motivated workforce, and competitive pricing, we can expect to see Bulgaria and other South Eastern European countries like Romania become an increasingly attractive choice for travel companies looking to outsource their customer service.

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