Hong Kong Tourism Board - Concierge Service
Name of Organization / Company: Hong Kong Tourism Board
Category: Award for the Innovative Use of Technology in Customer Service > All Other Industries
Entry Title: Hong Kong Travel Buddy - your virtual travel companion
Name of Organization / Company: Hong Kong Tourism Board, Hong Kong, China
Category: Award for Innovation in Customer Service Management, Planning & Practice > Other Service Industries
Entry Title: Hong Kong Tourism Board - Concierge Service
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES
The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) is a government-subvented body, tasked with marketing and promoting Hong Kong worldwide as a travel destination and with enhancing the visitor experience in Hong Kong. To achieve this, the HKTB depends heavily on support from its travel industry partners.
In past years, the HKTB has provided service to in-town visitors through various conventional channels, including a Visitor Hotline, e-mail and Visitor Centres. These services are operated all year round, but there is still a service gap. For example, most visitors prefer to get sightseeing recommendations from their hotel concierge before setting out. And as they travel around the city, they find it convenient to approach the customer service counters in shopping malls to enquire about nearby attractions, dining places, major happenings, etc.
However, the customer service personnel in the hotels and malls may not be able to fully address their sightseeing queries.
To extend the HKTB’s reach to more visitors, while at the same time helping our travel industry partners provide quality service to their customers, the HKTB launched its Concierge Service in November 2013.
STRATEGY AND IMPLEMENTATION
To ensure the effective deployment of resources, we provide the Concierge Service to selected travel industry businesses, such as licensed accommodations, major attractions, shopping malls and department stores located in the main tourist districts, where visitors usually have high information needs. Our travel industry partners who are interested in using the service can sign up for free.
There are two parts to the Concierge Service: a dedicated Concierge Hotline and regular tourism information updates through email and training.
The dedicated Concierge Hotline allows our travel industry partners to reach HKTB staff immediately if they have questions when handling customer enquiries about sightseeing recommendations, etc. To maintain high efficiency, the HKTB engaged a vendor to set up an identification mechanism in the hotline system, so that only calls from our travel industry partners are put through to HKTB staff for handling. The company’s identity and past calling history is revealed on the console, allowing HKTB staff to give as prompt and relevant a response as possible.
The HKTB carefully studies call trends and enquiry types from all Concierge Hotline users. This data helps us identify the common questions and needs of our travel industry partners.
We use it to prepare specific information handouts or manuals and email them to our travel industry partners to study in order to handle related enquiries easily. This also helps significantly reduce the number of calls on the Concierge Hotline, leaving HKTB staff free to focus on less common and more complicated enquiries. For our trade industry partners who have specific needs in certain areas, the HKTB offers customised training for their customer service teams.
ORIGINALITY AND EVALUATION OF SUCCESS
As far as we know, the HKTB is the only tourist office that has adopted the concierge service concept in the Asia Pacific region. While most national tourist offices extend their service coverage by operating more information centres, the Concierge Service helps the HKTB reach more in-town visitors with minimal resources. Currently, the Concierge Service provides support to over 110 of our travel industry partners, including:
- 91 hotels and guesthouses (over 35,000 rooms),
- 16 shopping malls and department stalls, and
- 7 major attractions.
As of June 2016, 96% of calls to the Concierge Hotline had been answered within 20 seconds, and over 90% of questions were answered in the first call.
Through the Concierge Service, the HKTB has successfully collaborated with the travel industry to provide superb service and hospitality to visitors using an efficient and effective approach.