The highest ever levels of visitor satisfaction have been reported following an assessment of the county’s network of visitor information points.

The welcome boost in customer satisfaction follows the annual Mystery Shopper exercise of the county’s Visitor Information Network undertaken by the Visit County Durham.

The 2017 results show an overall 91% customer satisfaction level, with almost three quarters of those surveyed scoring 90% and over. The 2017 results are a 6% improvement on the previous year’s 85% overall customer satisfaction levels.

The encouraging results also coincide with the launch of the 2018 Durham Pocket Guide, the official post-arrival visitor to the county. With 200,000 copies distributed across the county via designated Visitor Information hubs and 650 additional locations across the region, the Pocket Guide contains 84 pages of things to see and do, destination maps and popular events, as well as incorporating a selection of the best places to eat and drink.

Michelle Gorman, Managing Director at Visit County Durham said: “We’re absolutely thrilled with the results of the latest mystery shopper exercise. We pride ourselves on providing all visitors to the county with an exceptional level of information and customer service and these record results demonstrate the commitment we and our information partners have to placing the visitor at the heart of everything we do”.

The Mystery Shopper exercise took place during September and October 2017, with the aim to identify good practice and areas for development. Testing was carried out by email and telephone to users of the Visit County Durham contact centre, face-to-face and kiosk site visits at information partner locations.

In total 21 Mystery Shopper evaluations took place and the main findings were:

  • The level of customer service displayed by staff was rated very highly, with politeness, friendliness and eagerness to help particularly highlighted
  • Leaflet racks were well stocked
  • The information kiosks/touch screen all scored highly – they were scored on their location, ease of use, internet speed and cleanliness.

The Visitor Information Network is made up of a centralised Visit County Durham contact centre, with access points at 44 high footfall visitor sites across the county, supported by a network of web-enabled touchscreen kiosks.

Visit County Durham works with its partners to help visitors receive the information they need to get the most out of their visit to ensure that the tourism sector performs to its maximum capacity and brings economic benefits to the county.