These days, when people have something to say about your hotel, they’re probably not going to fill out a comment card and drop it in the lobby suggestion box. Instead, they’re going to take to social media and tell the world what you did right or wrong during their visit. Social media is here to stay, so it’s time to embrace it. Use your Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube sites as a way to collect valuable customer feedback, to learn more about what you’re doing right and where you have room to improve.
Five Ways to Use Social Media to Collect Useful Customer Feedback
One of the most important things you can do to collect useful customer feedback is also the most obvious — listen. If one customer says something, whether positive or negative, about your brand, it’s safe to assume others feel the same way. Keep track of all comments, and then use the feedback to make a change. For example, if you notice a lot of customers are complaining on Facebook that your pool isn’t open late enough on the weekends, extend the hours if possible. When you make a change suggested through social media, let your customers know. Post a Facebook update, tweet about it on Twitter, and upload a video showing the change on YouTube. This lets your customers know that you’re really listening to their comments and suggestions, which will encourage them to keep the conversation going.
When customers take the time to post a comment on your Facebook page or tweet about you on Twitter, it’s only polite to respond. If a customer posts a negative comment, take immediate action to rectify the situation. If they’re currently a guest at your hotel, you still have the chance to correct the problem before they go home unhappy. If they’ve already checked out, apologize for the incident and let them know what you’ve done to make sure it doesn’t happen in the future. The same goes for positive feedback. If someone compliments a staff member or mentions how much they enjoyed their stay, thank them for telling you. Jumping into action and letting guests know you appreciate their feedback on social media and want to hear their thoughts, is the best way to encourage them to keep doing it. If they see that social media is an effective way to contact you, they’ll keep using this to stay in touch.
People love to use Facebook check-in’s and Twitter @mentions to let others know where they are. When guests post social media updates saying they’re at your hotel, this is your chance to welcome them! Social savvy people love to be recognized on these sites, so make them feel valued by thanking them for visiting your hotel and telling them to let you know if they need anything. Not only will this make them feel right at home, they’ll enjoy this interaction from you and be inspired to post another update the next time they visit your hotel.
Make it Easy
People don’t always think to follow a hotel on social media, so it never hurts to help them along and remind them you’re on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. At check-in, have the front desk staff encourage guests to check out your social sites; if you give guests a card with the hotel Wi-Fi password on it, include your Twitter handle, and Facebook and YouTube URLs; and place links to your social sites on the landing page customers use to connect to the internet.
Get Customers Talking
Engage your social media followers by writing posts that will make them talk! Ask them to share things like something nice a staff member did on their most recent visit, what the best thing about their stay was, and to name one suggestion for improvement. People enjoy feeling like their opinion counts, so they love responding to questions like this. Think of all the valuable feedback you could receive so easily by simply asking these questions!
Although it may be tempting offer customers rewards in exchange for feedback, that’s typically not the best route to take. You want all responses to be genuine, not someone feeling like they have to say something nice, when they don’t want to, so they can receive the reward, or a person who doesn’t really have anything to say but makes something up to get the offer.
Encouraging customer feedback on your hotel’s social media sites is a great way to learn what you’re doing right and where you need to improve. When you listen to customer comments, they’ll know you appreciate their feedback, and will gain a deeper sense of loyalty to your brand for giving them that respect.
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Sara Collins is a writer for NerdWallet, a site dedicated to helping consumers find the best mortgage rates.
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