Lodging Interactive CEO to Speak About Hotel Reputation Management on HSMAI NYC Luncheon Panel

hsmai

PARSIPPANY, NJ – May 8, 2017 Lodging Interactive, an award winning digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced that DJ Vallauri, the Company’s Founder & CEO, will be a guest panel member at the HSMAI NYC Chapter luncheon on Monday, May 22, 2017 at the 3 West Club in New York City.  The panel discussion, titled Online Reputation Management – Perception vs. Reality, will discuss and share insights hoteliers can use when managing their online reputation.

“I’m honored to be part this month’s HSMAI NYC luncheon panel to discuss the importance of correctly managing hotel online reputations,” said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder & CEO. “For more than 15 years our firm’s CoMMingle division has established itself as the largest provider of reputation management services to the hospitality industry, handling over 200,000 hotel reviews for clients.”

Industry expert and speaker, Tim Peter, will moderate the luncheon panel and additional panel members will include Adele Gutman, Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Revenue for the Library Hotel Collection and Mark McCullough, Senior Key Accounts Manager for TripAdvisor.

For more information and to register for the luncheon, please visit: http://www.hsmainyc.org/.

Hotel Executive CEO Interview: Dj Vallauri

Human Powered Websites are the Future

CEO INTERVIEW: DJ VALLAURI, LODGING INTERACTIVE FOUNDER & CEO

There is no doubt that, as consumers, we are always looking for solutions that save us time. Time is the one factor in our daily lives of which we never seem to have enough of. Large consumer brands such as Amazon, Best Buy, Comcast, and many others understand this important human factor and take advantage of opportunities to return “time” back to consumers. But how are they doing this and why haven’t hotel brands followed suit?

Recently Benedict Cummins from HotelExecutive connected with DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder and President, to discuss his vision on human powered websites and why he believes they are the future for the hospitality industry.

Benedict: DJ, your agency has been in the digital marketing space for over 15 years now, offering hotels the tools and services to drive direct bookings via their websites. As it relates to hotel websites, how have things changed in the past few years and where are things headed?

DJ: Hotel websites have come a very long way in the past 15 years. Hotel websites are no longer considered “brochureware” but rather are active sales tools operating on a 24/7/365 day a year basis. Most recently new technology developments have occurred in the area of making desktop websites more manageable and effective on mobile devices. One specific example of this is the responsive adaptive technology. The majority of hoteliers have come to understand the importance in providing consumers with an exceptional online browsing experience via their mobile devices. As a result, the majority of hotel websites today are properly rendering on mobile devices. The hospitality industry has never been known to be on the cutting edge of technology But when Google introduced search engine ranking penalties for non-mobile friendly websites, I believe this pushed the hospitality industry to make the proper investments in responsive website technologies.

Benedict: Yes, mobile technologies have certainly affected the entire Internet and not just the hospitality industry. But is it all about technology or is there more? How do you see the hotel website evolving in the next few years?

DJ: That’s a great question, but let’s step back for a moment. The hospitality industry is all about being hospitable towards people. We’re about the human-to-human connections we have with our guests. We’re about providing experiences our guests will remember for a lifetime and will hopefully share with their network of friends and families either in person or via social media channels. The experienced hotel operator clearly understands this concept of “humanizing” their property. Operating a property with this mindset clearly provides a competitive advantage for those General Managers that “get it.” You see, it’s no longer about the technology. The technology is purely the price of entry today. The hotels that will win over the next 24 months will be those that introduce the human elements of real-time engagement via the technology. In other words, leveraging the technologies available to better engage and build relationships with their guests via human connections. Hotel websites have traditionally been a one-way conversation that hotels have with their potential guests. A website visitor simply clicks around the website to search for the information they need. Sometimes they’re successful but most times they’re not. The website of today and the next 24 months, flips this model upside down and enables two-way conversations between the hotel and their potential guests, in real-time while they’re online.

Benedict: That’s interesting. Can you please elaborate on this?

DJ: The hotel industry has always been slow to adapt new technologies, but what I’m going to discuss is not new technology. In fact it’s been around for over 15 years. I’m specifically referring to live chat technologies. As consumers we’ve been using live chat for many years. When we visit websites like Amazon, Comcast, American Express or nearly any major online retailer, we find online live chat to be very efficient when we’re in need of a little more information than most websites can provide prior to making a purchase. Live chat has always felt comfortable to consumers because it’s certainly easy to use but, most importantly, it allows us to control the conversation and interaction on our own time. As I mentioned earlier, time is one asset that we have very little of these days. Why would someone go through endless telephone IVR prompts only to be put into a holding queue?  Now when you consider how consumers use their mobile devices… today’s consumers are “attached” to their mobile devices nearly 24/7 and certainly their mobile devices are always nearby and within easy reach. And those mobile devices are always connected via broadband to the Internet. It’s only been recently that live chat applications have been made totally mobile allowing consumers to “ask questions” anytime and on-the-go. Such power in our pockets… it’s very exciting.

Benedict: So are you saying that live chat is going to flip the hotel-consumer engagement model?

DJ: Yes exactly. When we researched the market viability for a fully managed live chat service we found that, of 2500 hotels in North America, less than half of 1% had a live chat widget on their website. This equates to only 12 of 2500 hotels that had live chat enabled on their website. This got us very excited as it confirmed the market opportunity for us. It would be our challenge to come up with a cost effective business model and service to address the market need. This is why we developed our fully managed CoMMingle Live Chat service for the hospitality industry. Our model is to license the best live chat platform available on the market and to hire US based live chat agents and put them on our payroll. We certainly looked at outsourcing our live chat agent services to existing companies in the Philippines but felt the quality of service we could provide through them would not be acceptable. So we now have our own live chat agents, on our payroll and part of our company. This decision has proven to be the right decision for us and our hotel clients.

Benedict: So your live chat service is completely managed for the hotel? How do your agents know enough about the hotel?

DJ: Yes our CoMMingle Live Chat service is fully managed and we handle all the live chat sessions for each property. During the onboarding process, our agents are trained on the property information as well as the specific voice and tone the property is seeking in their customer live chat engagements. Additionally, we have other training programs to ensure our agents are as knowledgeable as they would be sitting at the property. Also because our live agents are 100% dedicated to the operation, we have instilled our own core customer service values and salesmanship. The entire process is very efficient.

Benedict: What about all the talk of artificial intelligence and robotic chat bots. Do automated chat bots offer an even more efficient live chat model for hotels?

DJ: Well one thing that became entirely clear to us when we launched our live chat service for hotels was that you cannot automate, nor should you, a conversation between a potential guest and a hotel. We have seen live chat engagements turn from a simple question about the destination to actually making an online reservation and assisting the future guest with spa reservations as an add-on sales opportunity. Our agents are not only working to provide the highest level of customer service while someone is browsing the hotel website, but they also act as what we call “assisted sales agents”. Meaning, our live chat agents can assist in closing business. They share sales materials such as floor plans, catering menus and wedding package information with potential customers via the live chat session. Our agents truly act as a sales support team when someone is in the buying mode. Chat bots can be effective when consumers are looking to book point-to-point air travel, a simple conversational string that can present airfares and flight options. But trying to automate hotel live chat sessions is like trying to automate a telephone conversation; it simply cannot be done. There are too may variables involved just as there are with telephone conversations. Why don’t you try the Expedia Messenger chat bot for yourself and you’ll see what I mean. Their chat bot experience is not so great, and I’m being polite. Besides this issue, try telling a hotel General Manager that a chat bot will be engaging with their potential customers. Trust me, you won’t get far with that conversation.

Benedict: But can hotels just add their own widget for live chat to their website? Why do they need to outsource this?

DJ: They could and many hotels have tried exactly this in the past. But the issue within our industry is having the qualified staff available to handle the live chat engagement and staffing has always been a challenge for properties. We heard from General Managers who have tried to handle live chat on their own and they’ve all echoed the same staffing issue. You see live chat volume will vary from day to day and week to week. This makes it practically impossible to staff at the property level with one or two dedicated people.

Benedict: So clearly you’re very bullish on live chat for the hospitality industry.

DJ: You can mark my words, live chat will become as ubiquitous as the online hotel booking engine has become today. This will happen very quickly, within the next 24 months or sooner. Live chat is what all consumers want and, with zero learning curve, it is even more certain that live chat will become the norm very quickly.

DJ Vallauri, Founder & President of Lodging Interactive, has been proactive and successful in all his social media initiatives over the last five years through CoMMingle. DJ saw the void of participation on social media from individual hotel properties and in 2010 CoMMingle was born.Through his insightful projections, CoMMingle has become a successful division of Lodging Interactive solely dedicated to social media marketing, social customer service and reputation management for the Hospitality Industry. Every industry’s social media needs are different and DJ understands the needs and challenges faced by hotels. Mr. Vallauri can be contacted at 877-291-4411 ext 704 | Lodging or dj@lodginginteractive.com

The Hotel Business Review is a weekly journal of best practices in hotel management and operations and is available at www.hotelexecutive.com. HotelExecutive.com retains the copyright to the articles published in the Hotel Business Review.

Lodging Interactive Offers Hotels All-Inclusive Digital Marketing Packages

PARSIPPANY, NJ – March 6, 2017 Lodging Interactive, an award winning digital marketing and social media engagement and reputation management agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced it is offering all-inclusive digital marketing packages for hotels and resorts.  Since 2001, Lodging Interactive has been exclusively serving the hospitality industry and helping hotel clients maximize their direct online booking opportunities.

 Hotel All Inclusive Digital Marketing Packages

“With the introduction of our all-inclusive digital marketing packages, our innovative approach in hospitality digital marketing continues to evolve,” said Mr. DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder and President.  “For more than fifteen years we have created award winning services for our hospitality clients with our CoMMingle Social Media Marketing Service and most recently our CoMMingle Live Chat Service for hotels leading the pack.  Now, we are the only digital marketing agency that brings all the required pieces together into an all-inclusive digital marketing service platform for hotels.”

 Lodging Interactive’s all-inclusive digital marketing packages include:

  • Modern website designs to maximize direct booking opportunities
  • Professional in-house website copywriting services
  • Complete website management services
  • Dynamic website content delivery and personalized segment targeting
  • Hotel Search Engine Marketing (SEO & PPC)
  • Annual Digital Marketing Plan creation
  • Social media marketing & engagement services
  • Reputation management services for guest review sites and OTAs.
  • Live Chat fully managed services, 7 days a week
  • Dedicated, first-rate customer service and ROI KPI reporting

Hospitality Digital Marketing

“Effective hospitality digital marketing is no longer just about having a new responsive website and launching organic Hotel Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising and a Facebook page,” added Mr. Vallauri.  “Today, the smart hotelier understands it takes more of a commitment than this to drive direct hotel bookings.”

A recent 2017 Travel Website Behavior Study showed that consumers, between the ages of 18-34, visit an average of 4.6 unique websites prior to making a hotel reservation.  This is down from just a year ago.  As a result it has become extremely important for hotels to impress their hotel visitors with personalized and targeting content and live chat support to answer any questions they may have in the booking process.

Hotel Digital Marketing Packages

Lodging Interactive’s all-inclusive digital marketing packages offer hotels the complete solution for a fixed monthly fee. The hotel digital marketing packages are designed to attract qualified visitors, show them personalized and relevant website content, provide real-time human powered live chat support to close the business, ongoing social media engagement and follow-up online reputation management and guest review responses.

For more information and to receive a price quote please visit Hotel All-Inclusive Digital Marketing Programs or call 877-291-4411ext 701.

About Lodging Interactive:

Headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, Lodging Interactive is a full-service digital marketing and social media engagement and reputation management agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. Through its web design and search optimization division as well as its CoMMingle Social Media Division, Lodging Interactive provides effective Internet marketing services to hundreds of branded and independent properties as well as management companies, restaurants and spas. The company also offers fully managed Live Chat agents for hotel websites through its LiveChatForHotels.com division.

Lodging Interactive is an HSMAI Adrian Award winner, and has won awards from the International Academy of Visual Arts, Interactive Media Awards, Horizon Interactive Awards, Web Marketing Association, Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, and Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards have recognized Lodging Interactive as an industry leader.

Lodging Interactive is a proud supporter of the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and the company’s president, DJ Vallauri, currently serves on the Board of Directors of HSMAI’s New York Chapter. For more information, please contact sales@lodginginteractive.com, 877-291-4411 or visit the company’s website.

 

 

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Lodging Interactive Handles 200,000 Guest Review Responses

PARSIPPANY, NJ – March 1, 2017  Lodging Interactive, an award winning digital marketing and social media engagement and reputation management agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced that it has responded to over 200,000 guest reviews for its hotel clients.  Since the launch of its CoMMingle service the agency has worked with numerous iconic 4 and 5 star independent properties as well as branded properties representing global brands such as Marriott, Starwood, Hyatt, IHG, Wyndham, to name a few.

 

“The continued growth of our CoMMIngle reputation management service can be attributed to the “white glove” service we provide to every guest review we write for our hotel clients,” said Mr. DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder and President. “As a fully managed service we understand the hotel’s reputation is at stake with every guest review we write and the importance of responding in the hotel’s voice and persona.”

 

Unlike other services that outsource the writing of guest reviews to third world countries, Lodging Interactive continues to invest heavily in its CoMMingle operations team based in the USA.  All guest reviews are responded to with custom responses and adhere to the high standards set by the many hotel brands the agency services.  The CoMMingle service monitors and manages all guest reviews posted on review and OTA sites such as TripAdvisor, Expedia, Yelp, Google, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Orbitz.com, Facebook, and Google.  Additionally, CoMMingle also monitors and responds to major hotel brand website guest reviews.  The CoMMingle service is offered 7 days a week and provides daily posting of hotel management responses.

 

“According to research provided by TripAdvisor, 68% of consumers will book a room at a property that responds to reviews versus one that doesn’t,” added Mr. Vallauri.  “And as the volume of guest reviews continues to increase on a year over year basis, property human resources will continue to be insufficient and will be unable to handle the volume and workload involved in responding to all guest reviews.  This is precisely why we have made significant investments in our infrastructure to ensure we can accommodate the growing volume of guest reviews.”  

 

CoMMingle reputation management offers guest review monitoring and management response services in 12 languages.  “As a global service, CoMMingle recognized the need for a multilingual approach to a world audience of our clients. Offering response service for reviews of various languages, addressing past guests as well as focusing on the potential future guests of the same language demographic,” said Rosella Virdo, CoMMingle Managing Director.

 

CoMMingle reputation management services are offered to hotels, resorts and restaurants.  For more information and to receive a price quote please visit www.LodgingInteractive.com or call 877-291-4411 ext 701.

 

About Lodging Interactive:

 

Headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, Lodging Interactive is a full-service digital marketing and social media engagement and reputation management agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. Through its web design and search optimization division as well as its CoMMingle Social Media Division, Lodging Interactive provides effective Internet marketing services to hundreds of branded and independent properties as well as management companies, restaurants and spas. The company also offers fully managed Live Chat agents for hotel websites through its LiveChatForHotels.com division.

 

Lodging Interactive is an HSMAI Adrian Award winner, and has won awards from the International Academy of Visual Arts, Interactive Media Awards, Horizon Interactive Awards, Web Marketing Association, Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, and Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards have recognized Lodging Interactive as an industry leader.

 

Lodging Interactive is a proud supporter of the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and the company’s president, DJ Vallauri, currently serves on the Board of Directors of HSMAI’s New York Chapter. For more information, please contact sales@lodginginteractive.com, 877-291-4411 or visit the company’s website.

 

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The Best Hotel Marketing Strategy should include Chat Messaging

Chat messaging has become a useful tool in marketing strategies of the hospitality industry to meet growing consumer demand. The Economist reported 2.5 billion people worldwide had installed at least one messaging app and that number was expected to grow to 3.6 billion within a few years. A recent OpenMarket study this January found that 57% of mobile device users worldwide found the best way to communicate with hotels is via messaging.

Chat Messaging Makes Efficient Use of Hotel Resources

Where there is demand, hotel marketing professionals need to respond. Hoteliers are discovering the value of chat messaging apps with time and labor saving strategies of the hotel’s front desk staff as well as helping guests or potential guests make purchasing decisions.

But using chat messaging is not only making more efficient use of your hotel staff’s time. It also gives your hotel the means to ensure great customer service and increase both conversion rates and RFP submissions. Of course let’s not forget that chat messaging provides engagement opportunities. When you have engagement, you create loyalty and with loyalty come the opportunities to close business.

Human Powered Live Chat Messaging vs. Automated Chat Bots

As consumers we want instant gratification – getting answers to our questions/inquiries right away – and so it would be with people who contact your hotel. But who wants programmed answers from a chatbot? People prefer the human contact – it is more personal, warm and welcoming than an automated, cold bot!

The argument is that an automated chat bot could have algorithms set up so that basic questions – information about amenities, pricing etc. – are answered but what happens when the person contacting your hotel has specific needs or questions that an automated bot is not programmed to give? Would you want your answer to be “Sorry, I can’t understand. Please call the hotel at …..”?

The person might end up calling but now they use up the very resources the hotel was trying to get to work more efficiently. So using an automated bot defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? Then not-to-mention there is the person’s building frustration when your the front desk clerk can’t provide a quick response either as they’re attending to other hotel guests.  “Hold please” is not an answer anyone wants to hear. Now your hotel has the potential of having this person just drop contacting your hotel altogether and move on to other choices.

The best solution for your hotel is the combination of both the technology and the human element. But regardless of whether you will have automated or human powered chat messaging, your hotel can expect chat messaging to grow more popular and that its presence will be around in the years ahead. Are you ready?

Guest Expectations: Hotel Customer Relations Challenge

In this digital age, use of social networks has become the new word-of-mouth communication channels amongst peers. Spreading the news about your hotel’s handling of customer relations may have a new delivery method but it can still make or break your hotel’s reputation – only now it is in cyber space and much more far reaching!

Whether your guests are Millennials, GenX or baby boomers, each group has different expectations from their hotel stay and want to be reached through different social channels.  This presents a challenge for hotels to provide exceptional customer service to the different demographics of each group.

 

Hotel Customer Relations

The string that binds hotels with these different groups is delivering high-quality customer service. What hotel wants to turn away bookings or future bookings? The answer is right in your hands! If guests perceive your hotel in a bad light, the ramifications of poor customer service will inevitably lead to a bad reputation and loss in sales. But you can turn this around by ensuring you listen to your guests needs, handle the issues – big or small – with speed, respect and graciousness.

eMarketer chart of people who have stopped doing business with companies due to poor customer relations

 

Going above and beyond to help make your guest’s experience a memorable one shows your hotel provides value to your guests so that they make the original booking and keep coming back again and again.  It all comes down to hotel customer relations with your guests. No matter the age, how well you treat your guest means great reviews, attracting potential guests and positively affecting your bottom line.

To be heard, one must first learn to listen

Listening to each group’s needs and wants is the key to providing great customer service. Who doesn’t want to feel special? Whether it’s the millennial looking for the next happening eatery or the baby boomer looking for a fun activity to share with their family, carefully listening to the expectations and feed back of each group is the best way to successfully manage them.

Provide the unique guest experience

When choosing a hotel, today’s guests want that special experience and the human-touch that makes them feel connected. If your hotel embraces the neighborhood, taking in every bit of the area and extending the uniqueness of your community out to guests, it would provide a personalized experience your guest will not forget.

Accommodate guest lifestyle preferences and expectations

There is a definite shift in preferences and expectations of today’s hotel guest. There is a service-oriented lifestyle together with the need to be engaged and entertained.  There is a desire for the human-to-human factor that makes a guest hotel stay comforting and welcoming. The saying goes home is where the heart is. Make your guests love their hotel stay by showing them your hotel is not traditional and stagnant but is warm and inviting. It is the relationship you build with your guests that will make your hotel be the “it” place to be.

In the end, the best way to handle guest expectations, no matter the demographics, is ensure you provide the best quality customer service. Your hotel will become the destination point that provides the personal, authentic experience today’s hotel guest expects and craves. Hotel marketers need to be mindful of this and adapt hotel marketing strategies to meet the challenge.

Customer Service is the NEW MARKETING

PARSIPPANY, NJ – February 1, 2017 Lodging Interactive, an award winning digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, published a new article on Hotel Business Review explaining how customer service has become the NEW marketing.  “The hotel business, frankly like any other business, is about creating relationships, human-to-human and it’s your job as a hotel operator to humanize your hotel and your brand in order to gain the highest level of customer service as perceived by your guest”, says DJ Vallauri, Founder and President of Lodging Interactive.

Hotel Business Review Lodging Interactive

 

Hotel Customer Service

The article highlights hotel customer service marketing — how people and their experiences are what capture guest interest in your hotel. Reaching out to the guest in all steps of their journey to and from your hotel maintains your hotel’s reputation and provides revenue opportunities. How you create your customer service experience provides more detail to initial hotel website visitors than you imagine. It goes on to give some insights to understanding where the guest journey actually begins, how live chat provides real-time, human-to-human engagement with guests or potential guests and why monitoring social media channels for guest comments before and after their stay provides a customer service marketing advantage.

There is also mention of many new artificial intelligence technologies that have sprung up to provide replies to consumers via a messaging app or chat application but that these are technologies chasing problems to resolve. “I am a firm believer that technology ultimately improves customer engagement for hotels but we should never look for problems to solve with technology but rather we should use technologies to solve problems”, says DJ Vallauri.

 

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.

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.

Vs

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.

Why do hotels take time to answer guest reviews?

guest reviews99  Guest Reviews – 99 Opportunities

As people use social media for expressing their opinions or for a source of information, it is important that hotels carefully monitor their online reputation. By responding to negative or positive guest reviews, the hotel is letting travelers know that they care about their guest’s feedback and are willing to make the necessary improvements to ensure their future guests do not experience the same thing.

Sometimes Good Intentions Go Bad

You’ve done everything possible to try to turn your guests experience around and they still write a bad review, what do you do? By responding back to your guests it allows you to share your perspective and to guide what is being said about your hotel. For example, if a guest should claim that they found a bed bug in their room, you can respond back to the guest letting them know (and anyone else reading the review) that your hotel has taken the necessary measures to ensure that your rooms are always at their best and highlight any changes your hotel have made.

Also, by responding back to your guest reviews, it allows the hotel to address those accusations so bizarre, that there’s no way it can be true. From a so-called hotel haunting to sarcastic feedback, by responding to such accusations in a positive tone, you can ensure your guests that all is well for their future stay.

So why do hotels answer guest reviews? Because it is important understand that the guest experience doesn’t just end when they walk out the door. It continues long after the guest has left. Your guests experience is a measure of how well you are doing and what can be improved.

Remember:

  1. It is important to not delay your response. In our 24-hour/7-days a week social media word, guests want to hear back from the hotel quickly.
  2. Keep it real. If it sounds canned, then they won’t feel you are being sincere to their experience.
  3. If you say you are going to fix it, then make sure you do. Nothing like getting several reviews about the same issue long after you have claimed to have made the changes.

Your response is just as valuable as the guest review. So take advantage of this opportunity to turn and negative experience into a positive one or take that positive stay and make it memorable long after they have left.