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#AskDJV Episode 31: Hotels can learn from Apple Customer Service

This week’s #AskDJV Episode 31 is a bit unconventional in the fact that DJ Vallauri talks about his recent customer service experience with Apple Computers.  How does this relate to the hospitality industry, you might wonder?  Read on for more insights into customer service.

 

Hotel Customer Service

Recently, DJ went into the Apple computer store to purchase the Apple Watch.  While the Apple team was pitching him about the watch and explaining all the features and advantages, DJ explained to them that he had purchased another Apple product 30 days ago and that he wasn’t very satisfied with the product.  He knew that it was past Apple’s usually 14 day return policy, but he expressed his concerns anyway.

Customer Satisfaction

Sometimes, it isn’t all about you (the hotel hearing the complaint), it is all about your hotel guest and how they feel, what they want and overcoming their objections (or in this case, DJ’s dissatisfaction with a previous Apple product).  You want to do this in a timely fashion, but more importantly, you want your guest to feel like they matter to you.  The ultimate customer satisfaction comes with a positive review and re-booking your hotel.

Quality Customer Service

The way to provide quality hotel customer service is to listen to your guests, ask their opinions, and find ways to make their experience at your hotel even better than they anticipated.  Every hotel has something special that resonates with their guests.  Look for more ways to improve the quality of your customer service, similar to the way Apple did with DJ.

Check back for next week’s episode of #AskDJV.  We look forward to seeing you!

#AskDJV – Episode 14: Social Media Marketing & Social Customer Care Collide

In Episode 14 of the #AskDJV Show, I talk about why social media marketing and social customer care are colliding.

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

You can also check back here each Friday for the latest episode.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Thanks for watching!

Why We Love These Twitter Engagement Tips (and You Should, Too!)

Hoteliers: Learn how to get more out of your social efforts with some of our top Twitter engagement tips.

Twitter Engagement Tips

With over 288 million active users, it is imperative that hotels know that they can’t take a backseat approach to this ever-growing social channel. It isn’t enough to simply have a Twitter account anymore. We are in an era of instantaneous and immediate. Twitter users are frequently taking to their computers, tablets and smart phones to share ideas, reviews and learn more about the businesses they deal with. In the hotel industry, the difference in your Twitter engagement strategy can be the difference in converting Tweeters into guests.

Not sure where to start? Try out our favorite Twitter engagement tips.

  • Feedback: Always reply to people tweeting to or about your hotel. Never leave a question unanswered or an issue unresolved. People love not only to be heard, but they value the connection with a real, live person at the other end.
  • Follow: Follow influential Twitter accounts and retweet their content. You don’t need to always recreate the wheel – but you can increase your brand awareness simply by following those who have something to say that pertains to the travel industry, your city, local attractions, and more. Simply retweeting content from influential users can increase your property’s visibility to a host of new Twitter users. Be sure to give credit back to your source.
  • Share: Use the right kind of content at the right time. Warm weather destination while the rest of the county is dealing with a cold snap? Use it to your benefit and tweet out a sunny image poolside at your hotel with some fun hashtags.
  • And Reshare: Have a successful tweet? Congratulations! Now go out there and reshare your own tweet! Tweets have a fairly short life expectancy – resharing what works for you can often reach a new audience of people that will enjoy your tweet as well.

Twitter can be a powerful social network for your hotel. Response to guests and future guests, as well as increasing your brand awareness through social engagement, can help create new fans of your property.

Want more on why engaging on Twitter is vital to your property’s success? Download our white paper.
Learn more about our 24/7 social customer care service, SocialVoices, on our website.

Social Customer Care IRL: JetBlue Uses Social Media for Customer Service, Marketing and All-Around Good

Ann Handley TweetAnn Handley, Author and Chef Content Office at MarketingProf, recently penned an article about leaving a signed copy of her latest read, Show Your Work, on a JetBlue plane after a flight to Philadelphia.

Spoiler alert: She is reunited with said book.

Why does this matter?

Well, Handley details the events that led to getting her book back and the story is one that should serve as an example to businesses on social media.

(Hint: It all started with a tweet, venting her frustration about losing her Austin Kleon’s book.)

What we love about the post is Handley’s analysis of how JetBlue’s use social media, and social media as a whole, is no longer just a marketing or just customer service tool, but really both.

The biggest take away, though, has to be the basic yet essential sentiment every business on social media — especially those in the travel industry –  should know and live by in order to extend the type of customer care their consumers (and the general public) want and need. And that is:

“Make social the central nervous system, not just the face.”

With the increasing use of social media as the front line of customer service, the division between social media as a marketing tool and your business’s customer service department no longer exists. Social media has become the way millennials, travelers, and connected individuals alike wish to reach out to share their praise, questions, like or dislike for your company, product or service. To survive, and in order to ever thrive, businesses need to be tuned into these conversations at all times, on all levels in order to deliver a high caliber of customer service satisfaction and maintain a positive online reputation to match.

Give Handley’s article a read here.

What resonates with you from her article? Does it change your company’s approach to social?

Lodging Interactive’s DJ Vallauri Talks Social Customer Service on Social Media Unscrambled

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DJ in the studio

Last week Lodging Interactive Founder and President DJ Vallauri was invited to be a guest on Social Media Unscrambled, a weekly interactive radio show and podcast hosted by Chris Curran and David Deutsch. DJ discussed the importance of social customer care as well as Social Voices and CoMMingle Social Media services available to hotels from Lodging Interactive’s suite of digital marketing solutions.

Check out the segment: Social Media Unscrambled Ep. 61 with DJ Vallauri

During DJ’s Social Media Unscrambled appearance, the Social Voices Listening Agents took over DJ’s Twitter account and live tweeted the event using the hashtag #unscrambled.

Follow DJ on Twitter.
Visit the Social Voices website.

Thank you to Chris Curran, David Deutsch and the entire #unscrambled team!

3 Things Hoteliers Must Budget for in 2015

What every hotelier should consider and budget for in 2015.

Hotelier Budget GraphicGiven recent trends, digital marketing is set to become a majority piece of the budget pie by 2019. In a world of increased mobile use and expectations of rapid online responses from properties and brands, hoteliers need to stay on trend with digital spending when planning their 2015 budget, making certain three areas of web-based marketing are well addressed next year.

3 Things Hoteliers Must Budget for in 2015

Complete Online Reputation Management

Managing your online reputation isn’t as simple as making sure you monitor what guests are saying on review sites. While monitoring and responding to reviews is still a vital part of maintaining a healthy online reputation, they go hand in hand with social media marketing and social customer care on sites like Twitter. Hotels need to budget for the ability to actively listen 24/7/365 and respond quickly to inquiries and issues in order to meet guest’s expectations and stop any problems from escalating and reaching review sites.

Tools to Capitalize on Website Visits

The research is clear, how your website looks and how responsive it is says a lot about how you regard your customers. Mobile and tablet use is increasing steadily and more and more consumers are purchasing from these devices and they want a seamless experience. Hoteliers need to consider budgeting for a responsive design website or converting a recently-built, non-responsive site so that your content is accessible across any platform or device. This budget essential might not be as large of a budget item as you may think.

A Strategy for Travelers to Find Your Site When Searching

The ABCs of a searchable web presence — SEO, SEM and PPC — should be key parts of your 2015 budget. Properties can have the best looking website out there, but if their content isn’t optimized and doesn’t keep search in mind or they don’t have effective PPC advertising in place to drive traffic, it is all for naught. Don’t get left behind in a sea of thousands of hotel and travel sites. Budget for these vital campaigns as well as content marketing services to make sure your property is a top search result.

“Hotels are turning to digital marketing more than ever to find leads, retain guests and engage with the masses,” says DJ Vallauri, Founder and President of Lodging Interactive. “As 2015 budgets are being drafted and debated, hoteliers must keep in mind how vital their online presence — be it their website, social media profiles or responsiveness to reviews or questions — is to their property’s success. These are key budget pieces no matter at what scale you are doing business online.”

Lodging Interactive is an award-winning digital marketing agency that provides a complete suite of creative website solutions, digital advertising strategies, and social media marketing exclusively to independent, boutique and brand hotel properties.

To learn more about our customized digital solutions or to partner with Lodging Interactive in 2015, please contact info@lodginginteractive.com or call 877-291-4411 ext. 701.

Lodging Interactive Hosts Free Social Customer Care Webinar

Hoteliers can discuss the importance of social customer service on Twitter with industry experts.

Lodging Interactive, worldwide provider of innovative Internet marketing and online reputation management solutions exclusively servicing the hospitality industry, will present a complimentary webinar on Tuesday, August 12 to discuss the importance of social customer care and how your property can increase the level of social customer service it offers in-house guests.

Social Customer Care – Is Your Hotel Listening?
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
1:00 – 2:00 PM EDT
Registration Link

With 72% of people expecting a response within an hour on Twitter when issuing a complaint, according to Lithium Technologies survey data, hoteliers need to find a way to provide personal, proactive customer care online.

Hosted by Lodging Interactive’s Founder and President, DJ Vallauri and Director of CoMMingle Social Media, Rosella Virdo, the hour-long webinar will cover the essentials for providing effective social customer care, how to best utilize social customer service to resolve potentially negative situations as well as how Social Voices, a 24/7/365 social listening service, can assist hoteliers in staying connected with guests throughout their stay.

“Properties need to position themselves to stay competitive in a consumer world that looks to social media to resolve customer service issues in real time,” says Vallauri. “Recognizing how your guests are trying to reach you and building a robust social customer care system to deliver superior service is essential.”

Register online to attend this complimentary social customer care webinar.

To learn more about Lodging Interactive’s Social Voices and how it can help hoteliers actively listen and rapidly respond to the online conversations regarding their properties, please visit our website.

American Airlines: An Example of Swift Social Customer Care in the Travel Industry

How the airline and others in the industry are using Twitter to respond to customers and followers.

As the world focuses on recent news events involving air travel and airlines, the air industry has needed to determine a way to respond quickly to inquiries from customers, news outlets as well as the public at large.

American Airlines has figured out how to do it right. Just take a look at their Twitter response times as shared in a recent Wall Street Journal article:

Twitter Response Times by Airline

 

Image Source: Wall Street Journal

The hospitality industry should take a cue from its travel industry counterparts and incorporate this type of social customer service into their operations. Hospitality customers are looking to social media channels like Twitter more and more as a place to reach out to properties to ask questions, get help or vent their frustrations.

Monitoring social channels 24/7/365 for these messages and responding quickly is essential for retaining customers, preempt potentially negative reviews and staying in control of your online reputation.

To learn more about the importance of social customer care, read our recent blog post or attend our upcoming free webinar.