VUSSC/Content/Tourism/Customer Care/Gathering Information about Customer Interests

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Some of the methods which you might find useful include the following:

  • Make enquiries about a service and current providers if any;
  • Check on existing customer feedback (complaints/compliments);
  • Find out what customers think of the services from current providers;
  • Ask customers what they think of your services;
  • Ask customers what they think of a proposed new service;
  • Hold a brainstorming meeting with colleagues and then try out interesting suggestions on a few favourite customers;
  • Ask colleagues if customers have made any suggestions to them about improvements which they would like to see.

One or more of the following practical tools may be used for carrying out these tasks:

  • Postal questionnaires of existing or potential customers;
  • Telephone surveys of the same;
  • Email surveys of existing customers;
  • Customer comment sheets;
  • Focussed chats with existing customers.

These lists are in no way exhaustive. You may look at more detailed information on market research in case you wish to pursue further on this interesting topic.

The main skill in introducing a new (or improved) service is to be realistic about how well customer requirements map onto your organisation's ability to deliver those requirements. If the fit is close, you can deliver what your customers want – then all will be well. Usually the fit isn't quite so perfect, so you will need to either, modify or improve your own abilities and resources, or modify the customers' perceptions of what you can deliver.

This is where the extra requirements become so important. Your aim is to deliver a quality service by exploit your strengths at the expense of the weaknesses of current providers.