This research replicates and extends Frey et al. (2003), using a typical e-mail query to investigate e-mail customer service by 260 Tunisian hotels. Based on the hotel responses, this study found that guests had one chance in ten of receiving a reply within a day and even less chance that hotels answered the inquiry professionally, promptly, politely and personally. Diffusion of innovations failed to explain differences in responsiveness by Tunisian hoteliers but did help explain the quality of e-mail replies. The results suggest that reply quality differs across hotel size and hotel affiliation. Hotel affiliation as well as hotel category and website presence showed no significant differences in responsiveness. Differences aside, the results highlight that Tunisian hotels can gain an immediate competitive advantage by analysing common e-mail queries and implementing basic e-mail procedures.
- Customer service
- Hotel industry
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management