Integrating Social Media with Customer Service

Monday, September 21, 2009

In May, the day before I was supposed to fly to the East Coast for a week of workshops and meetings, my laptop hard drive started acting up and threatened to crash.  A bit stressed, I twittered about this and one of the managers at Celebration Hotel, where the Florida workshop was being held and where I would be staying, sent me this reply:

hotel social media

My loyalty does not come easily when it comes to hotels. While I appreciate swank or luxury, as long as a hotel is clean, safe and relatively comfortable, I am fine. By paying attention to what I needed however, and offering a solution before I even had to ask, this upscale hotel has earned a customer for life.

One of the things that is important to note about this interaction is that I didn't point out the hotel name in my tweet about my laptop; so it wasn't a matter of the hotel just looking at their @ replies or doing a search for their hotel name on Twitter.  They were actively paying attention to their guests, even before my arrival.  If done poorly, this type of attention could come across as creepy - and many companies do this poorly.  If done well, as it was here, it is useful - both to me for peace of mind with my computer and presentation needs and for the hotel since it will earn them loyal and future revenue whenever I am in the Orlando area.

One of the things the hotel could have done to make the experience even better, though, would have been to add a note under my file in their CRM so that the person at the front desk could follow up when I checked in. As it was, the knowledge of my predicament and the solution offered by the hotel stopped with the person in charge of the Twitter account. Adding this information to the CRM and having another employee follow up on it would have reinforced the fact that the hotel cares about their guests on a personal level.

This method of interoffice cross-communication can be employed by any company using social media, regardless of size.  If you are a one person show, keep notes in your client files on this type of interaction anyway, so that you can remember to follow up on it during your next consultation.  If you own a hair salon or a wedding dress shop or even a photography or wedding planning studio where multiple people may be working with a client, this type of high-touch service from every member of your company only reinforces in your client's mind that they made the right choice and that you are a safe investment of their wedding dollars.

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