Can Hotels Serve Guests on Twitter?
Many of us has read the story on how Comcast used Twitter to become a front runner of good customer support on Twitter. Frank Eliason started out a new era of serving customer with @comcastcares. Today Frank is SVP (Senior Vice President) of Social Media for Citibank in New York.
He has proved that you can serve your customers on Twitter, and done the right way you can turn a bad apple into a shining star.
Twitter’s new Branding option now allows Hotels also to Serve Your Guests in a new unique way.
Strategies for Serve Your Guests on Twitter
One of the most important aspect of properly Serve Your Guests, is to become a a good listener. Take the time to identify customer needs by asking questions and concentrating on what the customer is really saying.
The best ways to listen on Twitter is to use the following tools;
Learn how to find information about your Hotel brand. Do a simple search on your username. If you only put in your username, this will include your own tweets and any time your username is mentioned in anyway. Try then do a search with @username this will narrow it down to anytime someone mention your username. There are various search operators you can use to find the exact information you are looking for.
b) tweetbeep is a great service where you can set up defined keywords to look for. These keywords can include your username, your product, your niche or just something you want to keep track off. Every time one of these keywords is mentioned this service will send you and email to notify you.
c) Google Alerts helps you keep track off relevant Google information based on your keywords. Again you want to include your username, your Hotel, your products & services etc. This time you will get an alert when a blog or website mention your keywords.
d) Listening Team. Several brands has implemented a strategy where they put in place a Twitter Listening Team. @ATTCustomerCare does a great job rotating their Team Members Serve their customers.
2. Anticipate needs
This require that you get a little more creative. Here you will need a desktop client like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. What you want to do here is to use the search option to create columns related to your customer needs.
Here are a couple of examples;
Lets say you are looking for customers talking about Hotel Amenities, then you can create a column based on the search term “Hotel Amenities”. And if you are looking for customers talking about Hotel Concierge, then create a column based on the search term “Hotel Concierge”.
This open doors for you where you can get in a dialog with these customers.
*Note* This can also be done on Twitter Search.
3. Make them important
You want to treat your customers as individuals. Compliment either a tweet or article they wrote, make sure you then include their @username. This a great way to create trust. And make sure you thank them every time they mention you or your product. If you have 1000′s of followers and many of them start to mention within a short time frame this can be a little tricky. But again you can do this by being a little creative.
Twitter has one feature called Lists. You can create a new list called customer-feedback, where you add everyone that mention your username/product. And then send out a general thank you note recognizing everyone on this list.
@JetBlue really has great focus on the customer. It’s all about you – and you above all.
4. Be prepared for adversities
You need to be prepared for how you handle negative critique or concerns about your Hotel brand.
One of the new qualities that got a new revolution with Social Media is empathy. Always start out with apologize, and then ask what you can do to fix the problem. And then follow up with 2 – 3 alternatives for what you can do for them. These has to be alternatives you know you are able to provide without any extra cost for the customers.
Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes.
Most adversities is caused by miscommunication or misunderstandings. Therefore also take time to make sure your customers understand your information/product.
Make sure you value your customers critique. Remember critique is a opportunity to improve.
If you Serve Your Customers well on Twitter Customer Service will become effortless.
5. Be a ‘Can Do’ Hotel
Always look for ways to help your customers. If you get a request or question from you customer that you don’t know the answer to immediate, then inform you will get back to them. Don’t make up a answer that you can’t back up. Do some research.
What if one of your Hotel followers ask you for a good restaurant in your city. Then why not try and see if you can find out the day and time they wanted to be there; how many will be in their party. After you have acquired this you check up one of your favorite restaurants. Make a reservation according to how many is in the party with the name on their Twitter profile. Find out what the special is that day. Then send them a tweet informing you made reservation for the party at xyz Hotel with link to Hotel at x:xx pm. Recommend them to try out the special of the day.
My friends at @RitzCarlton is among the best in its class. They always goes above and beyond to Serve their guests that little extra. And I really enjoy how they keep their profile dynamic by presenting nuggets from some of the awesome Hotels many of us have on our bucket list.
6. Give more then expected
We all have a image in our mind of what we will get in return for the prize we are willing to pay for any given product or service.
Today you have truly have a unique setting to make a difference to your customers. If someone send a Tweet that they are visiting your city then it is ok to reach out.
“Hey @username, welcome to our wonderful city. Let us know if we can help you with a memorable experience during your visit”
If customer responds;
“Thanks @hotelname, looking for a nice room for a family of 4 for 2 nights”
“@username Our Hotel is centrally located to all attraction. We can provide you with a Tweet Family Special for your stay”
“Awesome @hotelname. How can you help us today?”
“@username, Today we offer 20% Off Tweet Family Special. If you want to come by to take a look at our rooms I will send someone to meet you”
If customer want you to meet them, then request them to DM you their location and phone number to contact.
And when the customer book a room you can top the service with provide them a Free Upgrade to your Family Suite.
“@username, enjoy your stay with us. Our Hotel is just one Tweet away from Serving you as our guest”
With creative info-sharing you can give your Twitter network more then they expect. Build up tweet anticipation with 3 – 4 exciting tweets about the info. And then guide them to your blog or website where you deliver the info with additional info they did not anticipate. The reason guests keep returning back to a Hotel is because they know you meet their expectation of creating a valuable memory. And Social Networks allows them to share this memory with their network. Word of mouth is now becoming a valuable marketing tool for your Hotel.
One tip I will share with any brand that really want to learn how to Serve their customer is to take time and model @FordService. The way they have built their Twitter Brand is pure brilliance!
7. Encourage reviews
You want to encourage your guests to leave reviews for your Hotel.
Most guests just want to feel they belong, and that someone wants to listen to their wants and needs.
If your guests leave a review get back to them as soon as possible. Be creative and send them a Thank You note as a tweet.
Make sure you are prepared to enhance your brand’s Twitter profile page to increase engagement and drive your Hotel business goals when this becomes available for everyone.
@TwitterAds is the Twitter branding profile that provide some ideas of the creativity you can adapt to your own profile.
Now it’s your turn:
How have your Hotel utilized Twitter to Serve Your Guests?
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