The Costly Effects of Bad Customer Service on Hotels

Ultimately every hotel manager wants to provide the best in guest satisfaction. In today’s world, hotel guest satisfaction is based on customer service and it extends beyond check out. One guest who experiences a short tempered front desk clerk, a towel requested but not sent to the room or a doorman busy with his cell phone can seem insignificant on their own. But collectively and consistently, these situations will find their way to a reputation of bad customer service on review sites, spilling over to social media outlets and become detrimental to a hotel’s bottom line.

 

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” –Warren Buffett

 

Consistent poor customer service can create a variety of negative and costly impacts on your hotel. But if actions are quickly taken to correct them, a hotel manager can avoid any long-term effects on their hotel’s reputation and profitability.

 

Keeping Current, Potential and Future Guests

Build loyalty by building relationships. Guests are more likely to book their stay and speak well of your hotel within their circle of friends and family if they are given the attention they feel they deserve. Then good customer service and positive reviews provide the fuel for invaluable word-of-mouth advertising. Instead of costing your business, your guests could become hotel influencers in social media.

 

Holding Onto Your Hotel Reputation

No guest wants to be ignored and no hotel manager wants to lose bookings because of poor customer service. Guests would be quick to post negative reviews and vent their frustrations to their immediate social circles and beyond. It’s all in your control so make sure you have a key representative reaching out right away to address the issue. Accept responsibility and make amends. This shows good faith and leaves a guest or prospective guest with the knowledge that your hotel hears every voice and cares. Set a customer service standard that will become routine in your hotel operations.

 

Keeping Your Best Employees

Keep an eye out for low performers who leave your best employees to pick up the slack. If the situation goes on without correction for too long, it will eventually make your best employees grow weary, dissatisfied and even consider resigning their position. Recruiting and training new staff is a costly venture.  So incentivize your staff to deliver the best customer service. Promote or spotlight your best staff performers that go above and beyond to please your guests. Their efforts toward providing great customer service should set the standard that makes up your hotel’s culture and they will become your staff advocates.

 

Reaching Conversions and Profits

You don’t want to have guests lose interest in the hotel because of poor customer service. Lower sales and profits start a cycle of reducing costs and staff as well as plunging service levels even further. Regularly monitor and address customer service issues early and often. The best solution to bad customer service is to prevent it but the second best way is to fix the problem before it creates bigger issues that will affect your bottom line.

 

Having good customer service is not just about attracting new guests but guest retention as well as incentivizing your best employees. It sets the groundwork for a profitable, reputable and exceptional hotel. Don’t make the mistake of putting customer service second on your list in operations. It is the groundwork that will create revenue opportunities your hotel will not want to miss.

Make Twitter a Part of Your Hotel Digital Marketing Strategy

Providing great customer service to boost direct bookings is the end game no matter what social media platform your hotel uses to engage potential guests. Twitter hotel marketing is no different.  What makes Twitter stand out as one of the top digital channels for getting out your hotel’s message and helping to create the best hotel guest experience? Well every hotel has a story to tell and Twitter is a great platform to get the conversation going.

In a world where large hotel chains can swallow up the competition, digital marketers for smaller and independent hotels could create revenue opportunities by using Twitter to improve customer service and increase guest engagement. Hotels can tap into Twitter’s 313 million users who post 500 million tweets per day. Reaching such a large audience, hotels can announce openings, special offers, services and other promotions.

Building a Twitter Community with your Hoteltwitter hotel marketing

Going beyond this global reach, Twitter hotel marketing can also be the means to build a sense of community around your hotel. Reaching out to Twitter followers shows your hotel is ready and willing to listen to guest needs. Providing quick responses or solutions to their needs, wants and frustrations will build a sense of trust from hotel followers. It will also encourage your followers to have a greater interaction with your hotel and show potential guests that you care.

 

A recently published infographic from Digital Information World shows some valuable Twitter findings. Here are only a few to consider:

  1. 85% of followers feel more connected to a business after following
  2. 77% of Twitter users feel better about a brand when it replies to their tweet
  3. Companies using Twitter for customer service see a 19% increase in customer satisfaction.
  4. 70% of small business followers retweet content

Then keeping an eye on your Twitter stats could reveal your hotel influencers as well as gain insight into your audience. With this information in hand, you can learn how to focus on your marketing objectives so you can make your hotel stand out among the rest.

Now joining in on a new marketing trend, Twitter has gotten into live streaming with the likes of Presidential debates and National Football League games to name a few. The best part of this is non-Twitter users can watch a live stream without creating a Twitter account. Imagine the possibilities!

Making Twitter a part of your hotel digital marketing strategy offers many chances for using guest feedback to make the most of their hotel experience. It will give you insight on areas that need improvement and allow relationships to continue with incentives to return long after the guest has checked out, as well as increase opportunities for direct bookings. It’s your hotel’s chance to use the platform to reach your guests and build on your reputation. Are you making the most of Twitter hotel marketing?

Social Listening vs. Social Monitoring: A Fly on the Wall Approach to Social Media

Social Listening vs. Social MonitoringYou monitor your hotel’s social accounts. Logging into Facebook, Twitter and Instagram faithfully to see what type of feedback visitors have posted on your pages.  But is it enough?  What are your fans (and critics) saying about you behind your back?

When considering your social efforts – social monitoring and social listening are often used interchangeably but there are subtle differences between the two that can make a big difference in learning what is being said about your brand.

 

Social Monitoring:  The practice of monitoring online conversations about a specific phrase, word, or brand. It looks at individual messages coming in across your channels.

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Social Listening:  Is more of a proactive approach to social media.  It examines what is being said in online conversations around your brand. This practice allows you to see what the online community is saying ABOUT you, rather than TO you.

When it comes to social listening, the expression, “I wish I could have been a fly on the wall for that conversation!”  Is what immediately comes to mind.

Hotels can take that fly on the wall approach to watch people’s feedback, questions, conversations or comments in order to discover opportunities and create interesting content for those audiences. Remember, these are social opportunities that are not using the @ sign for your property’s social media page or tagging you directly.

Why is social listening important?

Social Listening helps to:

  • Spark new conversation
  • Provides awareness
  • Identify social media champions and social influencers
  • Builds brand exposure
  • Helps find customer support or sales opportunities you may have previously missed

Social listening also assists in preventing negative reviews of your property by those guests who may not feel their needs are being addressed. 

When done right, the combination of social monitoring and social listening can offer engagement opportunities that can help turn a social conversation between strangers into loyal fans and guests who tell all their friends how great your property is. All because you took that fly on the wall approach to social media.