Guest complaints are an inevitable part of running your business. Whilst of course you want everyone to have a wonderful time during their stay, problems occur. Your ability to resolve conflicts within your hotel is something on which you will certainly be judged.
As a vital component of hotel social media marketing
, learning how to handle guest complaints will help elevate your hotel above the competition.
Provide Genuine Customer Service
Customer service training is not limited to staff who meet customers face to face. It applies equally to those who interact with clients via the internet. Customers increasingly expect the same levels of customer service via online channels as they do from in-person staff, so remember this as you hire and train team members.
Whilst the emerging trend of chatbots means that many avenues of customer care can be handled in an automated or semi-automated fashion, once dealing with the real details of a customer complaint, it is vital to keep the service as personal as possible. Social media is all about human interaction, and many potentially catastrophic comments can be negated through providing a genuinely caring service.
Don’t lash out at your customers. No matter how outrageous the complaint, or how unreasonable the language, it is crucial to always take the high-road. How you respond via social media is how you will be perceived as a company – and negative first impressions last for your company’s entire lifecycle. The internet makes responses immortal – don’t let your company reputation be tarnished due to a moment of anger or weakness in response to a situation which can be diffused. Respond to all comments rationally and helpfully. Offer to discuss the situation. This will surprise even the most rabidly abrasive critic, and will help to genuinely resolve conflicts with those customers who have a true complaint.
It’s impossible to respond to complaints you can’t see, so be sure to invest in some social listening strategies to help you identify pain points for your customers. Be sure to regularly scour your Facebook page. Google your company. Check Twitter. Read review sites like Trip Advisor. Compile a list or spreadsheet of areas where you identify your customers are talking, and check them regularly. Setting up a Google Alert for relevant keywords and your business name helps you to keep a close eye on the conversation around your brand, so you will stand a far better chance of influencing it in a positive direction and handling negative discussions proactively.
The speed with which you respond to your online critics will either avert or create a social media firestorm. Negative comments can spread like wildfire if not dealt with promptly, and your ability to avert the embarrassment or reputational damage of an issue is directly correlated to the speed with which you respond. Be quick, but be thoughtful. Set target response times and stick to them.