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E‐mail customer service in the Tunisian hotel industry

Thouraya Gherissi‐Labben (Professor Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne Le Chalet‐à‐Gobet, 1000 Lausanne)
Roland Schegg (Professor Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne Le Chalet‐à‐Gobet, 1000 Lausanne)
Jamie Murphy (Associate Professor University of Western Australia Dept. of Information Management and Marketing School of Business Crawley, Western Australia)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 1 February 2003



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.



Gherissi‐Labben, T., Schegg, R. and Murphy, J. (2003), "E‐mail customer service in the Tunisian hotel industry", Tourism Review, Vol. 58 No. 2, pp. 18-26.




Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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