Setting the Global Customer Service Standard
By Emily Williams-Knight President, Kendall College | April 21, 2013
The time to travel is now
The past few years have been challenging for all industries, with the effects of the recession impacting countries across the globe. The travel industry was certainly not immune to the economic uncertainty, but continued to show strong signs that it remained one of the world's largest industries.
In 2011, travel and tourism contributed to nine percent of global GDP (equating more than $6 trillion U.S. dollars) and was responsible for 255 million jobs, according to World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Additionally, the WTTC shares that the industry is projected to grow by an average of 4 percent annually throughout the next ten years (equating to 10 percent of global GDP or $10 trillion US dollars by 2022).(1)
What does all of this mean for United States travel and tourism companies? Now, more than ever, is the time to tap into and become accessible for international travelers. From January to August 2012, the top twenty tourist-generating countries alone brought more than 39.7 million people to the United States, according to the Office of Tourism and Travel Industries (OTTI)(2). It's no secret that international travelers have historically made up a large portion of visitors to various locations around the U.S., but it's important as the industry of travel continues to grow to re-evaluate how a brand is accessible to this sector and what changes can be implemented to become more appealing.
If one tourism principle has remained true for reputable travel and tourism companies throughout the years, it's that customer service is key to success. Providing exceptional service to domestic travelers is vital to any business strategy and now the need has shifted to creating exceptional global customer service standards. How can companies achieve international recognition for their customer service, and what new amenities, services and attitudes need to be applied?
While the formula for success varies from company to company, industry leaders should encourage implementation of simple changes both within the classroom and on the floor to help set the standard for global customer service and help a company gain international recognition.