Social CRM – Is your Hotel moving Fans and Followers to Guests and Brand Advocates?
Although in my opinion relatively nothing new under the sun, “Social CRM” has lately received some significant attention and apparently (?) brings a big shift in the way hotels interact with their guests. Will it just?
Sure, rather than simply responding to guest requests, Social CRM can facilitate an active dialogue to create value for both in touching subjects such as guest loyalty, guest service, collecting guest input for new service, product ideas or marketing campaigns. In dealing with conversations and relationships of their social (potential) guests, hotel marketers are provided a platform for monitoring, actively engaging and shaping a hotel into a (even more?) customer driven organization – in aiming for advocacy.
Hotel marketers need to proactively engage with their guests by entering in conversations and not wait until those guests contact the hotel and offering a relevant experience. Of course easier said than done, but forget about pushing sales messages to your guests. Now it is the intent of letting them shape their own experiences and strengthen so the relationship to either benefit!
The pivotal questions? Not any different from any other marketing process. Who are your Guests? What are their needs? How will those needs be met by the Hotel in servicing them?
A hotel marketer’s aim is not only to maximise the revenue from a single reservation, but to build a lasting relationship and so increasing the lifetime value over time as a Frequent Guest.
There are software programs to assist you, although I understand that at times they offer nothing more than another ID field for the various social media channels.
Now, in practical terms how might Social CRM work for your hotel?
- A computer system collects information on the guests from all over the Internet; e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Flickr etc,
- It organises the information so you can act upon it. A tweet complaint, suggestion, compliment or a holiday picture on Flickr?
- You might run the report of all guest complaints of this week on any online channel. Now, you can fix your reputation since you have the feedback from your guests, by contacting that person and resolving the issue. Does it not just sound familiar? Like in normal day-to-day operations when dealing effectively with a guest complaint you just might have created the opportunity for a very loyal guest – besides tracking customer satisfaction and creating a benchmark over time.
Seeing any bears on your path, when not taking this process seriously? Imagine a guest has expressed his disappointment at the front desk. Later, he blasts something out on Twitter describing the negative service experience.
Then he is met by Silence? Well, surely that is not golden….
In conclusion a guest’s Facebook and Twitter profile name might just be as valuable as an email address, but is your reception staff capturing this information? In previous posts I already expressed that I am still in limbo about the value add of Twitter for our resorts. On the other hand can I afford not to deal with any guest complaints – whatever channel they use?
Besides You, Who is passionate about your hotel brand?!