One thing people dread about customer service is having to call in and speak to someone. First you have to get through all the hurdles like the long wait times or the voice automated system that makes you say “Representative” eight times before it connects you with a live person. In the back of your mind, you’re wondering much time out of the day you’ll waste being on hold and you’re bracing yourself to ask to speak to a manager. There has to be a better way, and maybe there is.
Barbara De Lollis of USA Today asks the question, “What do you expect from hotel Facebook and Twitter accounts?” It got me thinking about how much I see customer service issues being handled on Twitter and Facebook. Whether someone is sharing a positive or negative review about a trip, there’s a good chance that it gets picked up by the hotel’s social media team. From there, they proactively reach out to the guest to get more details about the situation. If you’re not actively looking for help but you get it anyway, that is a big step in (re)gaining your trust and your business.
A look at @SPGInsider Carrie Houston on Twitter shows her magnificent feed where she is thanking guests for their positive comments, following up on problems and even offering her services to help make future reservations more enjoyable. This is great interaction with the guests and really goes a long way in building customer loyalty. Unless you’re staying at luxury resort, it’s not often that you’ll get a personal offer to assist with your upcoming reservation.
From my own experience, the responses are quick and no additional follow up has been required. They’ll keep you updated every step of the way. Of course there are times when a phone call is just easier (where your situation is really complicated) but for those less complicated situations, try reaching out to the hotel’s social media team. It could be a much more enjoyable experience.