I intend to consider specific problems with Customer Service delivery as well as more general issues. In this first Blog I consider the notion that Customer Service is not given the level of priority it deserves.

The Tourism business, despite being a major employer and income earner places its emphasis on the level of attraction to a site and the potential for income through entry and retail opportunities. Employees and providers of Customer service within this sector have been slow to recognise the importance of excellent service in a market place where the visitor is increasing in expectation and sophistication.

The very recently published Scottish Historic Environment Policy 1 recognises that "Tourism is one of the world's biggest and most resilient business sectors" it goes on to say that " (Scottish) Ministers have set challenging targets for growth over the next 10 years"

The Policy speaks richly of providing heritage attractions and of being a major employer in rural and urban settings, and how the sector should not overlook the importance of the Scots visitor within their own country.

All this is laudable and fine but not one mention of ensuring that the quality of the visit needs to match the quality of the attraction. In my mind these are symbiotic. Poor service delivery will ruin an excellent attraction, just as conversely, excellent customer service has often saved a weak attraction! Okay, perhaps the writers of this exalted paper feel that customer service is a matter for local decisions, at attraction level, but to make no mention of the vital importance of delivery of excellence might allow this feature of our Tourism Business to slide under the radar.

Take my word for it – or better yet don't, and speak to visitors about their experience to OTHER attractions (for they probably won't open up to you in your own attraction). I'm betting you get more gripes that plaudits and that it's the small problems that they the visitor will tell their friends about. I am passionate about the delivery of excellent Customer service – so should every provider.

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