VUSSC/Content/Tourism/Customer Care/Customer Satisfaction

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Confidence in service - Consistent and reliable customer service will give your customers confidence in the service you provide because their experiences tell them that your standards are always high.

Exceeding expectations - A real positive impression on your customers helps them to decide that they

  • like doing business with you and your organisation/agency;
  • will come to you whenever they need the service that you provide;
  • will recommend other people to use your services.

You have got to be the best at what you do. To be the best you will need to:

  • understand and meet your customers’ needs;
  • exceed your customers’ expectations;
  • provide a reliable standard of customer service.

Exceptional customer service - Exceptional customer service not only meets the needs of customers, but also goes further and exceeds their expectations. Our customers will usually be satisfied that we

  • have taken care of their needs;
  • do what we have promised to do.

If we are going to provide

  • exceptional customer service to our customers,
  • service that leaves them delighted about the way they have been treated,

then we need to go a step further and exceed their expectations. We need to go the extra mile!

Let’s think again about what customers expect. Customers expect that we will provide

  • the type of service that the organisation is known for;
  • services within an acceptable time-scale;
  • a good quality of service and treat them with courtesy.

From this list of expectations there are three that we can try to exceed. It is unlikely that you will have a lot of influence over the type of service that your organisation provides but timescales, quality and courtesy are all aspects of customer care and service that you, personally, can make an impact on. Isn’t it?

To exceed customers’ expectations about time you will need to do things more quickly than was expected.

This can be done in two ways – by making

  • an extra effort to meet customers’ needs quickly;
  • sure that your estimates are realistic and achievable and then getting the job done within the estimated period.

This comes back to the promises that we make to our customers. It is sometimes tempting to try to impress our customers by telling them that things will not take long. We know that delays can occur and that if customers are prepared for them we can avoid causing disappointment. If we are able to do things sooner than expected the customers’ expectations will have been exceeded. You can now complete activity 36.

Activity 36

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A customer places an order for a souvenir handicraft item at one of the souvenir shops. Consider the three situations. Describe how you think the customer is likely to react to each.

Example of a situation Possible customer reaction
The customer is told that the item will be ready in two days.

After three days the item has still not arrived.

The customer is told that the item will be ready in one week.

Exactly one week later he/she receive a card telling him/her that the item is ready for collection

The customer is told that the item will be ready in two weeks. However, after only ten days he/she is told that the item can be collected

To exceed customers’ expectations you will need to do things better than was expected. The nature of your job, the type of organisation/agency that you work in along with your level of responsibility will determine how you do it! The end result should be that your customers receive a superior service to that which they expected.

To exceed customers’ expectations about courtesy you will need to be more than just polite. This can be done by taking an interest in your customers and adopting a friendly approach towards them.

For example, on a previous occasion, one of Ahmad’s customers wanted a service that he wasn’t able to provide. He redirected him to the office where it might be obtained. The next time he met the customer he enquired about whether he had been able to get what he wanted. The customer would appreciate that they were being treated more than just politely and that important details about them had been remembered.

Word of mouth reputation Delighted customers will tell their friends and families about the excellent service that you provide. This will encourage others to do business with your organisation and when they receive excellent service too you will have another group of loyal customers.


Keeping customers informed about developments in the service you are providing for them ensures that they know what is going on. They do not get any unwanted surprises if things do not quite go to plan.

However, customer service can be seriously damaged by poor communication. As service provider you may avoid passing information to your customers because you know that they will not be happy about what you have to tell them. But you will upset your customers even more when they eventually find out what is going on and it is too late to do anything about it.

You may now complete activity 37.

Activity 37

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Identify four customers whom you have dealt with regularly during the last three months. These customers may be individuals -internal or external or organisations depending on the type of customers to whom you provide a service. For each of the customers, describe the actions that you have taken to make sure that the customer service you have provided has been consistent and reliable.

Customers Action taken to ensure that customer service is consistent and reliable