Customer service 'is only differentiator'

y travel companies can stand out from their competitors, according to an Aspire Business Breakfast panel.

Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service, said changes in today’s consumers and the increasing role of social media meant customer service was the only way to distinguish between different companies.

She said: “You and I are more demanding, we have less money but we have more choice and we are more likely to be more visible through social media.

“There is a growing body of evidence that demonstrates service is the only differentiator. If we are able to prove that link that is so important.”

This means creating and retaining customers is even more critical, she added, and both are linked to a company’s customer service.

“It’s no longer a transactional, one-off experience. It’s about building that longer term relationship. It costs so much money to constantly bring in new customers.

“Customer retention and loyalty are important and there is a direct correlation between customer service and trust, and to drive trust forward you need to focus on the whole customer experienc