Aug 24, 2017

What Aged Care Could Learn from the Travel Industry

The airlines that are most customer focussed are the ones that earn more than two times the industry average. And as a dollar value that’s a huge amount of profit.

So what can the aged care sector learn about customer service from here?

What many organisations may not realise is that customer experience is primarily a financial endeavour.

Having a less than adequate experience will most definitely impact the bottom line of an organisation. Conversely, having a positive one creates emotional outcomes for the customer which fosters loyalty, increases advocacy and, in turn, increases revenue and profit.

For most sectors, customer experience is driven by marketing, however, it could be argued that the real major player in customer experience should be the CEO of the organisation.

So Why the Focus on Customer Experience in Travel?

There are many and various reasons for the current focus on customer service:

  • Companies in the travel industry, particularly airlines, consistently rank in the lower levels of customer satisfaction when compared to other sectors.
  • It is now clear, in financial terms, that brands that excel in customer service, earn more profit and market share than brands that don’t focus on customer service.
  • Airlines particularly suffer when there is a negative customer experience can result in significant damage to the brand. In this era of social media, bad airline experiences can go viral, shifting power to the customer.
  • Customer expectations are flexible and always changing – especially in the digital times of Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, etc.

What Can We Learn About Improving Customer Experience?

There are a number of key parts, which need to be applied in a specific order, that are critical in creating the best customer service that you can offer. These include vision, integrity, convenience, personalisation and emotion.

Each of these can be applied to any industry, even aged care:


Aged care is a customer centric organisation. Their first and foremost priority should be the resident. The organisation’s vision speaks to the consumer and the employees and acts as a guide for employees to do the right thing, regardless of processes, especially when things go wrong.


An organisation’s integrity comes from their ability to deliver on their promises at all touch points. In aged care, that starts from the first first enquiry and goes all the way to the bereavement process when the resident passes. A lack of integrity is where most people’s poor customer experiences begin – and it also act the the best place to begin improvements.


It’s important to value the customer’s time. In aged care this means spending more time to ensure that all their needs are met. Whether that be a little more time getting on the tour, providing information or spending extra attention on the resident. In aged care, there should be less focus on what is convenient for the organisation or the staff, and more for what is convenient for the consumer.


It is imperative in aged care to understand individual residents, their needs and context and offer them a service that is tailored to them. You and the resident, along with their families, need to work together to ensure your consumer get the best experience they can.


Aged care is a place of high emotions. You’re caring for someone’s loved one, and their family is entrusting you care for them as if they were your own. If you offer your service with kindness and great compassion – recognise, value and empathise with each resident, you will be rewarded with their loyalty.

The “health” of your brand –  your ability to deliver what your brand promises and offering a positive customer experience – is vital for a stable financial performance as well as a crucial part of being highly competitive in a growing market. 

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