Tourism Customer Service 101

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Did you know?

  • Happy clients who have their problems resolved will tell 4-6 people about their positive experience.
  • A dissatisfied client will tell 9-15 people about it. And approximately 13% of your dissatisfied clients will tell more than 20 people about their problem.


Conclusion: You have to satisfy three to four, for every one that is dissatisfied with you. It's tough to work with a 4:1 ratio against you, which is why your client satisfaction efforts are so important.

I never went to Travel & Hospitality school. In fact, I'd never had any experience in client service or in the travel industry whatsoever before I started my little inbound travel business. You don't need to - avoiding dissatisfied clients as above should be common sense for any business.

Some basics that should be common sense, except that common sense doesn't, unfortunately, seem to be that common:

  • Respond to an enquiry within 12 hours at the most, preferably a LOT quicker. Every time. There is nothing more impressive than someone coming back to you at real pace.
  • Respond PERSONALLY, not via automated reply, and make it look like you've given their enquiry some thought.
  • Respond with correct grammar and spelling - this displays intelligence and professionalism, and is a reflection of how you do business.
  • A personal phone call is the optimal response - and SMILE when you talk to them: they'll be able to hear it in your voice!
  • Follow up on your initial response when you say you will ie. BE PUNCTUAL.
  • Be honest, transparent and comprehensive in servicing their enquiry -  and don't bad-mouth the competition. What goes around comes around.


Look after your suppliers as well as you do your clients, I always say

  • Make sure you pay your bills on time, every time. We prepay our accounts 14 days prior to client arrival, for every client. Do unto others.
  • Provide your suppliers with as much information about your client as possible. Combine to create a "united front" in working together to make that client's experience as good as it can be.
  • Keep in touch with your suppliers, even if you don't send them business on a regular basis. They can be great referees, both within in the trade, and to other tourists.

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