According to a new survey, 59% of people do not think that the UK is ready to deliver top notch customer service in time for the 2012 Olymics. Customer experience analysts Sidona Group carried out the poll as part of National Customer Service Week. They tested customers experience in hotels, restaurants and popular attractions and concluded a “clear need” for more staff training.

25% said hospitality businesses only deliver ‘acceptable’ service, with 16% saying some are “simply not up to scratch”.

Good news for the South West however, 57% of those polled agreed this was the best area for customer service, while London suffered a low 20%.

Customer experience director Sidona Group Anne Blackburn said: “We are obviously not quite there yet when it comes to making sure frontline leisure and tourism businesses deliver the sort of experience our visitors expect.

“With Visit Britain estimating that tourism outside London is set to benefit by £0.62 billion as a result of the Olympics, it is critical that we get the experience right if we are to benefit long term.

“Our survey shows that getting products and processes right is just a small part of the picture. With over 50% of an experience coming from the emotions staff evoke when interacting with visitors, and this could be negative – frustrated, neglected, disappointed – or positive – valued, cared for, pleased – it is vital the experience generates the positive emotions that leave lasting memories visitors will treasure and, most importantly, share.”

She added: “To make the leap from good to excellent, all staff must be shown how to make better emotional connections with customers and to understand why this is important. This is advanced training, which understands that frontline staff, who are often low paid and temporary, are a vital piece of the picture and often the only interaction between a visitor and a brand.”


What do you think about hospitality in the UK? By the sounds of this research it might be a good idea to just stick to holiday cottages in the South West!