Today’s Editorial April 19: Making the customer happy

One of the things we hear a lot from tourists and some people in the tourism industry these days is that Cayman’s tourism product is overpriced.

The term overpriced, however, is relative and is not to be mistaken with the notion that our tourism product is too expensive.

A Mercedes Benz is expensive, but the people who can afford one will not say it is overpriced, given the quality of the vehicle.

The same holds true for Cayman’s tourism product, which, by the nature of circumstances, will always be expensive, especially when compared to many other Caribbean destinations.

Cayman’s challenge, then, is to raise the quality of the tourism product to a level where it is commensurate with its price.

One critical way of doing that is with superior customer service, and a new initiative has been launched by the Department of Tourism, with help from an overseas consulting company, to raise the level of customer service throughout Cayman’s tourism industry.

Visitor exit surveys have shown that tourists do not feel there is no consistency with good service in any of Cayman’s nine tourism industry sectors. Given that tourists coming here are paying more than they would for a holiday if they went to Mexico, Jamaica or the Bahamas, inconsistent or lacklustre service is a good way to ensure they won’t come back here.

Conversely, consistent excellent service is the best way to ensure visitors will return to the Cayman Islands.

By raising the standards of service to nothing short of consistent excellence, The Cayman Islands can raise the perceived value of a Cayman Islands vacation, and help eliminate feelings that our tourism product is overpriced.

While Cayman seeks to deliver a great tourism product in every way, great service goes a long way in making up for any short-fallings in the rest of a vacation experience, some of which is beyond the control of people.

Let’s say the North Sound is very choppy due to the weather. A tourist might be upset about that, but if the service they get on a boat taking them to the Sandbar is excellent, it will temper their disappointment.

By making sure the customer is kept happy with superior service, Cayman’s tourism industry has the ability to make sure visitors leave our shores happy.

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