Assessing the Quality and Effectiveness of Customer Service.

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Assessing the Quality and Effectiveness of Customer Service

TASK A – Carefully select one Travel and Tourism organisation whose        Customer Service practices you can examine in detail.

The issue of customer service has become very important to companies in competitive industries such as travel and tourism. There is not much point in spending huge sums in advertising for new customers to grow the business if the existing customers are defecting to competitors because they are not satisfied.

On the other hand, a company, which has a solid base of satisfied loyal customers, will probably gain demand through personal recommendation which is the basis of a good reputation.  It is clear, therefore, that good customer service which results in customer loyalty can have a direct impact on the long-term profitability of tourism enterprise.

        To Assess the Quality and Effectiveness of Customer Service in ONE travel and Tourism organisation I selected the Holiday Inn Garden Court in Ashford, Kent because I have visited before so I already have a sound judgement on how efficient the customer service is.  The hotel has 100 bedrooms, a lounge bar, restaurant, 6 small meeting rooms and a separate pub in the car park which is owned and operated by another company.

        There are three main criteria’s that I will analyse in the organisations customer service quality, they are: -

                 What are their performance standards like?


                 Measuring to see if the standards are being met


                 Putting in place measure to correct any shortcomings

I will also be analysing the quality criteria using the spider diagram shown below: -


TASK B – give a full explanation of the key customer service quality criteria relevant to the organisation, giving examples of the procedures and practices used to achieve them.

The delivery of customer service in this hotel involves several parts:

1-Brand Standards

The hotel is privately owned and operated under a franchise agreement with 6 Continents, the company which owns the Holiday Inn brand. This means that all of the brand quality standards and operating procedures specified in the Holiday Inn brand standards manual must be applied.


The hotel is inspected once per year by a Holiday Inn inspector who arrives as a secret shopper and inspects the whole hotel. The results are recorded in a lap top computer and added to the negative score of customer complaints received on customer comments cards. If the hotel fails to achieve an 85% score it will fail. In the case of a failed inspection the hotel has six weeks to put the problems right and pass a second inspection before it is thrown out of the brand. As a result of the scoring hotels can see where they rank against other hotels and learn from their ‘best’ practices.

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There are other inspections by the Tourist Board and travel publications which force the hotel to provide specific standards to qualify for an official rating.  The management give less importance to these inspections than brand standards.


There are regular weekly management and departmental meetings where complaints and inspection reports are reviewed and actions planned to resolve problems. The heads of department and staff feel that some of the problems occur because of the shortage of staff or low cost students in the summer peak season.  There are also internal inspections by management to ensure standards such ...

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