Customer care services and the quality of cultural heritage tourist experiences; case study Mengo Palace
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The study focused on Customer care services and the quality of cultural heritage tourist experiences at Mengo palace, Kampala Uganda. Customer care services boost the visitors experience creating a positive reputation of the site therefore higher visitor commitment and increase in return rate. It was guided by the following objectives; identifying customer care service encounters experienced at Mengo palace, assessing the quality of cultural heritage tourist experience at Mengo palace and examining how customer care services and existing quality of cultural heritage at Mengo palace influence tourist experiences. Data was collected using questionnaires and interviews and analyzed using SPSS software windows 16. The results showed that customer care and quality service delivery is highly prioritize at Mengo palace. The service encounters experienced at the palace include quality guiding of tourists/ visitors, ensuring service is provided with a smile, providing the service with the professional body language and the appropriate physical environment. The findings also indicate that the quality of cultural heritage tourist experience was also demonstrated in accessibility, cleanliness of the site, site attractiveness, appropriate communication as well as safety and security which have ensured quality experiences of the tourists. These and customer care services experienced by tourists have been key in influencing their coming. This was in regards to positive feelings towards the site, exceeding tourist expectations and recommendations of the site. Based on these, the study recommends that Mengo palace management should think of investing in alternative transport such as carts to move around visitors particularly the disabled and elderly to ensure inclusive experience. Management should also conduct training to their guides to equip them with multi lingual skills. Lastly, there is a need to increase on number of attractions and activities that portray the image of Buganda kingdom such as the cultural dances, how the local food is prepared among others to meet tourists’ expectations and enhance their experiences.