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UK Hotels rank highest in Europe for good customer service

Latest research from the Independent Hotel Show, in partnership with travel deals company Travelzoo, reveals that UK hotels rate number one for service compared to hotels across Europe. Hotels in Spain and Italy are ranked second and third. Hotels in France fared worst, and were rated lowest for customer service.

The survey of over 1000 UK adults also highlighted how important good service is as a redeeming factor when other attributes of a hotel fall short. Nine out of ten respondents said good service could rectify their impression of a "bad hotel" and is the top reason why two-thirds of customers would rebook.   

Good hotel service also has huge positive word-of-mouth potential, with 40% of respondents saying it would make them recommend a hotel to friends and family, second only to the cleanliness of a hotel and 50% more important than the hotel's restaurant.  

Key findings of the research include:  
Attitudes to service
·         Boutique and luxury hotels are the preferred hotel of choice of 42% of respondents, followed by chain hotels (29%) and budget hotels (10%)
·         British service is viewed as "formal and polite" by 35% of respondents and "warm and generous" by 18%
·         London and Scotland are ranked as the two regions offering the best customer service within the luxury and budget hotel sectors
·         Respondents are nearly three times more likely to rate hotel service as "amazing" outside the UK
·         Respondents' biggest bugbears regarding hotel service are "surly or condescending staff" (38%), "not following up on requests" (21%) and "struggling to get staff's attention" (15%)
·         A "friendly, can-do attitude" is viewed by 60% of respondents as the most important quality for customer-facing staff
·         9 out of 10 respondents agree with the statement "a bad hotel can be improved with good service"

  How service relates to recommendation and rebooking
·         "Cleanliness" is ranked as the highest attribute when it comes to recommending a hotel to friends and family (60%), followed by "good service and friendly hotel staff" (42%) and "location" (31%).
·         "Personable, helpful and attentive staff" is ranked highest as one of the main drivers to encourage a repeat hotel booking (66%), followed by a "special offer or promotion" (62%), a "great breakfast" (45%), "convenience" (36%), "a good hotel restaurant" (31%) and the hotel's "design and décor" (23%)  

Service and review sites
·           Encouragingly, guests are six times more likely to post a positive review of a hotel than a negative one  

With service a core element of successful hotel delivery, the Independent Hotel Show (20-21 October, Olympia), targeted at the independent and boutique hotelier, will be exploring attitudes and trends towards good service during the 2-day event. The Future of Service seminar session that will take place at the show's Business Theatre on 20 October will focus on the changing needs and expectations of the modern guest. Chaired by Peter Hancock, Chief Executive of Pride of Britain Hotels, the session will also feature key predictions from  research and advisory firm Stylus, along with comment from key hotel professionals, including Robert Nadler of Nadler Hotels, Neil Leo of Ace Hotel and Paula McMinn of The Savoy.  

Miranda Martin, Event Manager at the Independent Hotel Show says:   "We are thrilled that the UK has been ranked best for hotel service in Europe. The thousands of visitors to the Independent Hotel Show run the most revered luxury and boutique hotels in the country and these results are testament to the outstanding service that makes them such desirable, unique and popular destinations."  

Peter Hancock, Chief Executive of Pride of Britain Hotels adds:   "Nothing can be more important at the luxury / boutique end of the market than service. Our guests already have pleasant homes and access to good food and wines, so the one thing we can offer that justifies our prices is great hospitality delivered by friendly, courteous professionals. The way it's delivered is of course still evolving and that is what we'll examine during our session at the show."  

Joel Brandon-Bravo, Travelzoo's UK managing director adds: "Travelzoo has over 27 million members worldwide who all have one thing in common: a genuine love of travel. This has taken them all over the world, both for business and leisure purposes. While they like to get a good deal on their holidays, they don't expect this to come at the cost of good service. This study has revealed just how crucial good customer service remains today, in a world where technology is constantly replacing the need for face-to-face communication and personable service.  

"Good service inspires loyalty – this is important for all hotels, but even more so for the smaller boutique hotels, which came out top in our research, as these really do rely on word-of-mouth recommendations from trusting guests. It's also worth noting that Travelzoo's deal experts look for positively reviewed properties when researching deals. If the hotel is lacking these reviews, we simply won't feature them on Travelzoo."

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