Customer Service in Travel
Before looking at that subject, I should congratulate those from travel and tourism who did walk off with trophies. Butlins were awarded Best Service Employer of the Year and Pauline Wilson from Virgin Holidays was named Customer Service Manager of the Year. Manchester Airport, Chiltern Railways, Cross Country and the National Maritime Museum all made the shortlist but were pipped at the last moment. In the case of Manchester Airport they lost out in two categories and the Group (which also owns East Midlands and Humberside airports) lost out as well.
Last year 13 different companies related to travel and tourism were shortlisted so the number has halved. As I said earlier, this could be because companies decided not to enter. But last year there was a category for Customer Service Team of the Year for Leisure & Tourism and not this year. There was also a similar award for airlines, transport and distribution which failed to survive into 2009. So it could be that travel and tourism companies saw little reason to enter.
This week there was the news story about the person who requested a complaint form from the guard on a train. As the journey ended, the guard came over the tannoy apologising for not managing to get the form to the passenger because overcrowding made it difficult to get through the train! Enough said. An attempt at customer service defeated by the very reason for it.
Customer service needs rewarding in whichever industry it is in.