VUSSC/Content/Tourism/Customer Care/Market Research

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Usually the marketing function of your organisation/agency establishes the quality and reliability requirements for a service in the tour guiding context. It is the means by which Revealed Requirements and Expected Requirements for a service can be established. Only then is if possible to consider Extra Requirements. In particular it should

  • determine the need for a service;
  • accurately determine the customer requirements by reviewing previous and current services and customer needs;
  • communicate all customer requirements clearly and accurately within the organisation.

The result of this effort is usually a formal statement of requirements which is called a 'service brief'. This forms a vital document in the planning of a Service Excellence. The service brief translates customer requirements and expectations into a preliminary 'specification' or description of a new or improved service that your organisation has decided to introduce Customer Service Excellence Plan (CSEP). Typically the specification would include some or all of the following considerations:

  • the function of the service;
  • how it is to be carried out;
  • when it is to be introduced;
  • who will be involved;
  • applicable standards and statutory regulations;
  • definitions of suitable quality standards and quality measurements;
  • quality assurance and verification.

Once completed, the service brief forms the basis for the detailed service specification which is the CSEP. It is also the responsibility of the marketing section to collect and analyse information relating to customer experience and expectations. This information will provide clues to possible improvements and future services.

In practice, many organisations do not have a distinct marketing department. The work is carried out by the personnel who have direct responsibility for the introduction of a new service. So how will you go about finding out what customers want? Sometimes it is easier to reverse the process and look at what your organisation can profitably provide. The new service will only be viable if you have the resources to deliver it to a good standard.

Alternatively you may decide to try and find out if your customers are interested in a particular new service, or if the customers have any suggestions of their own. You will recall some customers know exactly what they want while others need to have suggestions put in front of them before they make a decision.