Summer – the time of relaxation, stress free holidays, drinking piña coladas in the sun and enjoying the local cuisine. Your holidays wouldn’t have been the same if the hotel you stayed at, the restaurant you enjoyed your romantic dinner at or the bus company you travelled with didn’t care about CX.
In the spirit of the World Tourism Day, we have gathered our team’s customer experiences during their holidays. Here is a few of them:
This year Lee went to the Sziget festival. The Sziget festival is one of the biggest music festivals in Europe. They advertise themselves as ‘The Island of Freedom’ – and according to Lee’s experience they really live up to the standard.
In Lee’s words,
“Apart from the great weather and music, it was the organisation and attention to detail of the festival that blew me away.
When you book your ticket, all your emails are addressed to you as a ‘Szigetzen’ which makes you feel personal and that you are now part of an exclusive group. You also get given a ‘Sziget Passport’ on your arrival which you can get stamped around the island. Again, something small but makes it completely enhances the experience.
Everything is done through the Sziget App, which is incredibly user friendly. Your tickets and island information can all be found there. You can pick your favourite acts at the festival and it will generate your own personal timetable as to when they are playing. If there are any updates (Change of time or stage, you will be sent a notification on the app). You get a wristband on the way in and that is your ID (When you scan into the security at the campsite, your passport pops up) and your source of funds for the trip (you can add money from the App).
I was knocked out by the amount of staff around. They were all incredibly polite and knew the island back to front and where exactly everything was!
The place was spotless, which is always a concern for a customer going to a festival! At one point I was eating lunch and I could count over 20 bins within 50 feet of me. I went ‘Glamping’ so I wasn’t in the main campsite but my facilities were incredible! More showers than people in the campsite and plenty of toilets! Cleaned every 3 hours!”
During the festival the island was filled with over 90,000 people and Lee had a completely personalised experience, so much so that he decided not to go to Electric Picnic. All the staff were prepared, the organisers provided them with correct training and empowered them to be able to sort out the attendees’ issues immediately. This experience shows that even in such a crowded place if you plan your CX strategy correctly, you can achieve CX Excellence.
I went to Athens in Greece and Brussels in Belgium. Two completely different countries and two completely different cuisine experiences.
Let’s start with Belgium. This was a weekend getaway. One of the most important things for us was to taste the famous Belgian chips (Frites / Frieten). While walking around the town we noticed that a particular shop sells sandwiches with them. This is how our experience went:
We walked in, started looking at the menu, waited our 5 minutes in the queue and started ordering. The man behind the counter immediately started confusing us and making it extremely hard to choose what we wanted. He asked us what sauce we wanted and even though we clearly said ‘Mayo’ three times he kept insisting we said ‘Ketchup’. (Maybe it was just his humour – but for us it was frustrating.) Next, we asked if we can pay with a card – to which he replied that only cash is available. We managed to gather just enough to pay with cash. Paid and upon receiving 80c back the man said that he has a card machine, showed it to us and said that he just prefers cash.
We ended up barely touching our food and leaving for a different place.
Now this is what happened when we went to a traditional Greek restaurant:
We arrived and were greeted with a smile, positive attitude and happy staff that showed us to our table. Whatever we asked for, whether it was a half portion or for something that wasn’t on the menu, the staff did their best to accommodate. This particular night there was traditional Greek live music and dancing. The dancers were inviting people from the nearby tables to dance with them.
We were happy to order more food and more wine, just to be there, enjoying the amazing atmosphere the owners created for their guests. In fact one of the owners was there and explained to us a little about the cousine and the specific dish we ordered and when she realised that the kitchen staff didn’t provide us with lemon (it makes the dish even more special) she ran into the kitchen and gave us a whole plate. We were the last people to leave.
When it came to paying the bill we realised that they charged us full price for meals where we ordered only half portions. When we brought it up (to who we believed was the second owner) immediately he reduced our bill and took off an extra few euros to make it an even number. We had a chat and shortly after left, full of delicious food, great wine and fantastic experience.
Some people might say that the difference between the restaurant experiences was due to their ‘status’, one a simple take away and the other a traditional restaurant. However, whatever business you may have, you should care for your customers. The Greek restaurant didn’t start off as a successful business – it started off from serving simple meals to the locals. Through their care for their customers, their business expanded and grew to become as great as it is now.
I booked flights for the family on Ryanair to Tenerife. I couldn’t book the correct luggage that we needed initially, so I had to go onto the Ryanair customer care section for assistance. I was dreading it and feared the worst.
I logged onto the chat bot. It told me immediately they were experiencing delays and that I was 180th in the queue. Oh my goodness I thought. So I decided to wait a minute or two and sure enough the queue started to go down quite fast. After 5 minutes it was under 100 and then in 15 or 20 minutes I was dealt with. It worked perfectly.
The Customer experience lesson here is to empower the customer with an informed choice. Should I stay or should I go? Ryanair also gave me a realistic expectation at the start and then I knew what to expect as I went further up in the queue.
So, my expectations weren’t great to begin with but the experience certainly exceeded them.
If you work in the tourism industry, and would like to ensure that your customers tell their friends and family about the amazing experience they had with your business, enrol in our Professional Diploma or Certificate courses today!