This research explored the state of electronic customer service in Switzerland by e-mailing a typical room query to a random and stratified sample of 200 hotels. Based on the hotel responses, this study found that guests had less than a one in ten chance of receiving a prompt, polite and personal reply. Diffusion of innovations helps explain the poor e-mail replies by Swiss hoteliers. The quality of reply differed across hotel size, category, online relationship marketing tools and linguistic region while responsiveness differed across online relationship marketing tools, geographic location and linguistic region. This study suggests that hotels can gain an immediate competitive advantage by implementing basic e-mail procedures.
|Journal||Tourism and Hospitality Research|
|Publication status||Published - 2003|