The days when social media was simply another platform for businesses to use for self promotion have long passed. Your guests are increasingly using their online networks as a first point of contact with you during the planning stage of their breaks and to feedback and voice their grievances –very publicly – post stay.
This comes with its own set of challenges. But it also offers a valuable opportunity to showcase your commitment to customer service in front of a global audience.
Of course, that means it’s more important than even to ensure your customer service strategy is on point.
1. Choose The Right Social Customer Service Team
The foundation of providing a great customer service experience for your guests on social media is to choose the right team for the task. This is too important to delegate to a staff member simply because they’re a known Facebook addict!
The bottom line is: if you wouldn’t feel confident allowing someone to handle customer enquiries and complaints in person, then don’t give them free reign over your hotel’s social media accounts. This is a position that requires training and good people skills just like any other customer-facing position in your property.
2. Respond With Urgency And Add A Personal Touch
Time is of the essence, particularly when it comes to negative feedback. Nothing looks worse than a complaint left with no response, but generic and impersonal responses are almost as damning.
Cut the canned replies, and personalise all responses on social. Fully read the guests’ concern, thank them for their feedback (however critical) address them by their first name and be genuine in your response. Aim to fix the issue publicly if you can, or invite the guest to discuss the issue over direct messaging in more difficult to resolve cases.
3. Amplify Positive Vibes
Although replying to complaints may seem more pressing, it’s important to take the time to acknowledge and where you can, amplify positive feedback too. Whether it’s a detailed, glowing review or a concise but particularly complimentary comment, any positive exposure is great for your hotel – so share, retweet and thank guests who talk about your property online.
Consider using special packages and giveaways to further delight and encourage these natural brand advocates. It’s not about exchanging a discount code for another Like on Facebook – it’s about showing guests they’re valued and paving the way for further positive engagement moving forward.
4. Use Guest Feedback To Uncover New Opportunities
Guest feedback on social media offers a valuable mine of information to uncover and address common pain points, as well as openings for new services and features. You might use your findings to create a new FAQ page on your website, identify new keywords to inform your property’s SEO efforts or even to make real, tangible changes to your hotel which improve your guest satisfaction rates moving forward.
Use social media as it was intended to be used – to converse, engage and build a sense of community with other people. If you can make your guests know that they’re valued and listened to, you’ll convert followers into advocates and social traffic into website traffic and bookings.