Reviewing Customer Support Challenges in the Tourism Industry: Insights from Case Studies

Reviewing Customer Support Challenges in the Tourism Industry: Insights from Case Studies

The tourism industry must provide exceptional customer service to keep its foothold in the global market. However, since the epidemic, there has been an increase in customer service standards and a decrease in available service employment.

Travelers can reserve accommodations with greater ease and at a lower cost than in the past. Travel and tourism are highly competitive, so standing out requires top-notch customer service.

Increasing funding and modifying hiring practices are two ways that become challenging for the HR department. Meanwhile, customer service in South East Asia must determine how to keep up with demand without increasing headcount. The most important things are cost reduction and maintaining service smoothly for quality control.

You must overcome the challenges if you want to reach your objective. From hotels and airlines to car rental agencies and experience providers, there is a way to improve customer service without overwhelming your support staff. 

Keep reading to discover the travel industry’s biggest problems in South East Asia and how you can still manage to give excellent customer care despite them.

Let’s dive in!

Top Global Customer Support Challenges in Tourism 

Below, we have discussed some of the top challenges faced by the Tourism industry at a global level:

1. Minimal Freedom for Travelers

Things need to move quickly here because that’s how this industry is. Urgent action is required to resolve issues. Especially given that most tourists are tech-savvy. That is, they know their goals and how to achieve them. Their patience wears thin as they wait for someone to figure it out or as they exert greater effort to find the solution on their own.

Overcoming this Challenge

Offer self-service assistance to customers and potential customers. Help your consumers solve their problems independently by giving them the necessary resources. Because of this, contacting a representative is unnecessary, and the time spent waiting for a response is significantly reduced. Customers can handle the issue considerably faster and without further support if they can discover answers online without speaking to anyone.

2. Emergency Preparation

Getting from point A to point B is a major hassle. To mention just a few, there is handling the paperwork, packing the bags, and making transportation arrangements. Furthermore, a state of terror ensues in an unexpected event. That might escalate into a major issue if addressed later.

Overcoming this Challenge

Give all passengers, not just high-net-worth individuals, a way to contact customer service. For example, you have a customer who is traveling alone internationally. He had the misfortune of losing his luggage just two hours before his connecting flight. The scenario will only become worse if you make him wait on a lengthy IVR. 

As a result, offering a hotline where clients can speak with an agent directly during an emergency is crucial. If you can manage the situation well, it will make the customers trust you more and stick with your brand.

3. Lack of Customer Service Access

When asked why they left, many people who worked in the travel sector mentioned that they couldn’t have more control over their schedules. Support agents often work irregular hours, including weekends and holidays, because customer service continues beyond 5 o’clock. Additionally, it is more challenging to cover shifts outside of typical business hours when staffing levels are low.

Overcoming this Challenge

Whenever a consumer needs assistance, chatbots are there to help. Chatbots can answer basic questions and direct more complicated ones to a live person the following day if your customer service department does not offer 24/7 help. On the other hand, chatbots can supplement the efforts of existing evening personnel. In slow periods, your chatbot can handle more work, reducing the need for human agents.

4. Lack of Customer Support Expertise

When customers go through more hoops to speak with a real person in customer care, they want that person to know the subject matter. Remember that most people who buy things related to tourism are rather knowledgeable. Their general plans for their trip and activities are usually well-defined before they contact you. 

They seek agents with strong risk management and planning skills to determine whether choices are financially and logistically viable. Put another way, they’d rather talk to seasoned pros than complete newcomers. They want to connect with agents with extensive knowledge about their intended activity or destination. Agents’ confidence in their abilities to plan the ideal trip is likely to be low if they are required to explain basic facts to them.

Overcoming this Challenge

To overcome this challenge, the agents must have extensive knowledge of the tourism sector when offering their services to clients. They should also be able to arrange clients’ desired vacations at the desired times, just like traditional travel brokers.

5. Lack of Multilingual Support

A five-star experience begins with an understanding of the situation. As someone who works in the travel industry, it is not out of the question that you will come across individuals who speak languages other than yours. Ensuring sufficient multilingual support agents to accommodate your clients while operating with a limited workforce presence might take time.

Overcoming this Challenge

To overcome this issue, conversational artificial intelligence tools with translation capabilities can be considered. If you do not have a translator on staff, customers can receive assistance in their native language easily. But the best solution is hiring a customer support team with a couple of multilingual workers. This will greatly enhance their KPIs and offer better quality control. 

Insightful Case Study

Main Issue: Problem with Translation

Imagine this: The rising number of foreign visitors to Japan prompted a well-known travel firm to extend its services. Despite the company’s strong customer support system, non-Japanese-speaking tourists often need help communicating with the support service due to language problems.

The Challenge: Dealing with questions and concerns in several languages, particularly English, was a major hurdle in South East Asia, even though the support personnel was quite knowledgeable. Dissatisfied consumers and damage to the brand image resulted from misunderstandings and holdups.

Overcoming the Challenge: A chatbot driven by AI capable of speaking multiple languages was eventually chosen as the best course of action. The chatbot could quickly respond to standard questions, translate them into another language, and transfer more complicated problems to agents fluent in both languages. The response times and the customer experience were improved.

Final Results: Customer satisfaction scores increased by 30% when the AI-powered chatbot was implemented. The tourist company reduced handling time by 25% by streamlining the resolution of language-related issues. This freed up the support team to tackle more complex instances, improving customer care overall. Also, the individual KPIs were improved along with cost reduction for maintaining services. 


Professionals in the travel and tourism industry have a lot on their plates. To cater to modern tourists, travel companies must be adaptable and deliberate. They need to think about the full client journey, emphasize personalization, highlight their value genuinely, and embrace technological advancements. 

It’s a lot, but then again, so is planning an unforgettable vacation!  

The above case study sheds enough light on automation in terms of customer support. For better quality control and positive customer experience, pinpointing the exact challenge and developing relevant solutions is the key!

Author: Greg.B

Executive with 25 years of proven success in call center management and revitalizing business units. Proven career record of producing multimillion-dollar profits through pinpointing operational inefficiencies and encouraging the revitalization of employee morale and corporate culture change.

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