The Institute of Customer Service officially handed The Travel Network Group its new Service Mark, a special accreditation from the organisation.

Speaking at the consortium’s annual overseas conference in Monaco today, Jo Causon, chief executive of the institute, said: “It’s not easy to achieve, and not something we give freely. It’s a mark of showing excellence.”

Causon described the Service Mark as a national Standard that isn’t about passing or failing but “upholding standards and really driving to be the best you can be”.

Organisations must go through a process to achieve the Service Mark and at the end are assessed by the institute. “They [TTNG] have done exceptionally well in this,” Causon said.

Causon revealed TTNG has increased its performance by 15 points for member satisfaction and eight points for staff engagement since it was first measured by the institute in January 2015.

Its overall score of 83.9 has increased from 76.1 in that time. The tourism sector as a whole is in third place of the sectors the institute assesses for customer service, with general retail leading the way on top.

Tourism’s score of 80.7 is above the national average of 78.2. Jet2holidays is ranked third of among UK firms behind Amazon in first and the bank First Direct in second.

Within travel Premier Inn and P&O Cruises are in second and third places respectively behind Jet2holidays.

Causon said latest research due to be launched in January will reveal a levelling off of customer satisfaction in the UK.

“What’s happening I believe is we are getting better at complaint handling but we are not getting better at fixing the problem. We are not really focussing on better customer experience,” she said.