By improving how customer feedback is used, the UK hospitality and leisure industry could boost the economy by £3.2 billion over the course of the next decade, says Barclays
Improving how the UK hospitality and leisure sector manages and responds to customer feedback could contribute an additional £3.2 billion to the UK economy over the course of the next decade, according to the newly-published Barclays Feedback Economy report.
A more successful hospitality and leisure sector has the potential to add an extra £2 billion to the UK economy with the impact on the sector’s large supply chain contributing a further £1.2 billion, it claims.
Barclays says this economic benefit will be achieved by improving how businesses such as hotels, bars, restaurants, travel businesses, health spas, sports clubs and cinemas monitor, manage and respond to customer feedback.
Putting processes in place to better manage customer feedback will create a more responsive sector, attracting more overseas tourists and encouraging domestic visitors to stay longer and spend more, increasing spend per head and benefitting the sector’s wide supply chain.
Mike Saul, Head of Hospitality and Leisure at Barclays, said: “The rise of feedback sites has been a disruptive force within the hospitality industry over the past decade. Our research reveals that those working in the UK hospitality and leisure industry feel that these faster, easier and simpler feedback mechanisms are a good thing for the industry – resulting in more agile businesses better able to serve the evolving needs of consumers.
“However, there is even more that the hospitality industry can do to capitalise on this opportunity. Our research shows that being more responsive to customer feedback could increase the value of the UK hospitality and leisure industry to the wider economy by more than £3 billion over the next decade.”
Leaving feedback – a growing trend
UK consumers are more likely to use and leave feedback than ever before. Barclays’ survey reveals that three fifths (59%) of UK consumers state that reading other people’s reviews plays an important role in helping them decide where to visit or stay. This rises to 70% amongst 25-34 year olds.
Millennials are also significantly more likely to cite online customer reviews as being very important in determining which hospitality and leisure services to use. Close to a third (29%) of 18-24s and (27%) of 25-44s rated online reviews as one of the three most important factors influencing their decision on where to stay – alongside more traditional factors such as value for money and customer service, as opposed to 18% of the over 65s.
In addition, nearly half (45%) of all British consumers are more likely to leave a review today than just 18 months ago, citing factors such as ease of access through smartphones (42%) or awareness of the importance of reviews (33%). This means that businesses need to put processes in place to avoid being left behind by customer expectations over time.
Businesses see the value of feedback