In survey, travel industry ranks worse than insurance industry for customer service

Travelers have been complaining for some time now about the decline of overall customer service in the travel industry. What immediately comes to mind, of course, are the airlines, but the industry is much wider than that — and the consensus in at least one small survey seems to be that the industry as a whole is in trouble.

How much trouble? A survey published recently by the Stirtz Group LLP asked readers seven questions meant to take the overall temperature of customer service across a variety of industries. Asked to name the industries that provided the worst customer service, the travel industry ranked fourth, worse than the insurance industry, if you can believe that.

Only phone/wireless companies, the government and the health care industry fared worse in the survey.

Survey respondents singled out these industries for a number of sins, including rudeness, disinterest, unresponsiveness and — seeming to speak directly to the travel industry — focusing on money and policies rather than the needs of customers.

On the flip side, the restaurant, financial, retail and Internet industries all ranked high for customer service.

I’ll be the first to acknowledge that this survey isn’t all that scientific. The guy behind it, Kevin Stirtz, is a consultant and motivational speaker who calls himself the Amazing Service Guy. It seems like he goes around to companies and tells them how they can provider better customer service.

Still, respondents did take the time to answer the survey on his Web site, so there’s something to it. Mr. Stirtz would do well to disclose just how many people did respond, so we can conclude for ourselves if his findings are meaningful or not.

Either way, see for yourself here.