April 27, 2012
Not so long ago, word of mouth was a difficult to manage, impossible to predict and hard to pin down phenomenon. However, in the Social Media led world, this is no longer the case. Blogs, tweets and review site quotes are all visible, searchable and hugely persuasive. But how can hospitality organisations use this vital information to their advantage?
A recent survey conducted by the Altimeter Group found that companies with the highest level of Social Media interaction increased revenues by 18% last year, while those with the least declined by 6%. A Retail Consumer Report also found that if businesses contacted someone who had written a negative comment, 34% of the reviewers erased the poor review, 33% did a 180 degree turn to write a great review, and 18% completely turned around and became a loyal customer. Proactivity is, it seems, key to making sure customers are happier, and even when they are not, that they feel they are being listened to.
The most effective – and certainly the most easy to implement – is a Social Media Manager (SMM). This streamlines the process, meaning rather than having someone trawling mentions or waiting for Google Alerts, everything is managed automatically and intelligently. Usually, a SMM is set up to automatically assign a series of actions when a mention occurs.
For the most part, this interacts with existing call centre or support staff function. Using a patented search algorithm, more mentions are caught than other monitoring methods, and as it has multi-language identification capability, it is easily catered to hotels’ international guests. Ultimately, increase productivity, better use of existing investment, and can create a more holistic guest profile.
Social Media can be a scary arena, full of frustrations and comments that are unfair or misleading. The ability to ensure that these are managed quickly and effectively will become ever more important over the coming years, and SMM is the ideal way to ensure what goes on Social Media doesn’t always have to stay on Social Media.