Customer satisfaction is critical in the travel industry because it helps companies to overcome competition and retain customers. For travel agents, achieving excellent customer satisfaction is particularly important because more and more customers today can book trips via the Internet without the support of a travel agent. However, in order to achieve customer satisfaction, travel agents need to understand its determinants and use focused efforts to improve relationships with customers. The literature review highlights some of the factors that influence customer satisfaction with travel agencies and their willingness to use their services again.
The first study is a quantitative study of customer satisfaction with and their loyalty to travel agencies providing services in Indonesia (Setiawan & Sayuti, 2017). The researchers selected 200 participants based on purposive sampling and created surveys that considered five variables: service quality, customer trust, corporate image, customer loyalty, and customer satisfaction. Correlation analysis was used to identify the relationship between the pairs of variables and their strength.
The research showed that service quality and customer trust had the strongest impact on customer satisfaction, with service quality also influencing customer loyalty (Setiawan & Sayuti, 2017). There was no correlation between the corporate image and satisfaction or loyalty, meaning that improving the quality of service and gaining customer trust is the primary way for small and big travel agencies to enhance satisfaction.
The second study focuses on customer loyalty while also connecting it to customer satisfaction, which makes it relevant to the topic (Silva & Gonçalves, 2016). Similar to the first study, researchers used a quantitative methodology with a survey as the primary data collection method. The survey was completed by nearly 3000 online and offline travel agency customers and focused on the relationship between loyalty, satisfaction, trust, perceived value, and perceived quality (Silva & Gonçalves, 2016). Contrary to the previous research, this survey found that in the offline context, customer trust influences loyalty (Silva & Gonçalves, 2016).
The authors also consider perceived value, stating that it is particularly crucial for online customers’ satisfaction. Other than that, the results of the two studies are similar, because they both show that perceived quality impacts satisfaction and loyalty.
The articles appear to support the chosen hypothesis that customer-centric support and responsiveness to the individual needs of customers improve their satisfaction. This is because both of these features are related to service quality, which proved to be necessary for customer satisfaction (Setiawan & Sayuti, 2017; Silva & Gonçalves, 2016). Additionally, responsiveness can assist travel agencies in gaining customer trust, which has a positive effect on loyalty through satisfaction (Silva & Gonçalves, 2016).
However, the second study also adds more meaningful information that can be used to enhance the discussion in the proposed research project. The mentioned differences between online and offline customers are essential in the contemporary context, and thus can be used to identify useful strategies for online travel agents. Hence, both articles will be useful for the study and can be applied to support the hypothesis and enhance analysis.
Setiawan, H., & Sayuti, A. J. (2017). Effects of service quality, customer trust and corporate image on customer satisfaction and loyalty: An assessment of travel agencies customer in South Sumatra Indonesia. IOSR Journal of Business and Management, 19(5), 31-40.
Silva, G. M., & Goncalves, H. M. (2016). Causal recipes for customer loyalty to travel agencies: Differences between online and offline customers. Journal of Business Research, 69(11), 5512-5518.