Gone are the days when any company or business does not care what customers think about it. Nowadays, at any moment, an unhappy customer can share their opinion with the masses through social media and negatively affect the reputation of a business or company.
In this age of automation and innovation, caring for your customers has never been more important. The hospitality and travel industry is easily affected by the sensitivities and nuances underlying customer reviews. According to HiJiffy.com, ‘the world is on the move. People are travelling more than ever and according to a report by World Tourism Organization, it is estimated that by 2030 a global population of 8.5 billion people will take approximately 2 billion international Trips’.
At face value, the influx of visitors may signal boom time for the hospitality and travel industry. However, the flip-side is that the industry may also not be ready in offering its customers what they want, thereby resulting in loss of revenue.
Although there’s a lot of excitement about new technology in customer service, such as the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI); video, real-time messaging and the use of chatbots, the human touch is still paramount.
Llama Life Solutions (March 2019) carried out a review of top 60 hotels in major cities of South Africa (Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg), by analyzing customer review trends, over a two-year period. The reviews captured customer responses and levels of satisfaction with these establishments. The following service ratings were used: Good, Very Good, Fabulous/Superb and Exceptional.
Comparative Analysis Based on Customer Reviews through Booking.Com
(N.B: Durban – 55 257 reviews, Cape Town – 43 892 reviews and Jo’burg/Sandton – 36 243 reviews)
Continuous investment and the nurturing of relationships with customers, has never been this important in growing a successful business.