When operating a hotel, you are bound to face guest complaints. It's an inherently obvious truth of the business: no matter how high your property's star rating or sterling your current reputation - you will be faced with innumerable challenges, whether service or product-related, that can immediately turn your customer into your biggest advocate or disgruntled reviewer upon checking-out.
From a post-stay perspective this paradigm is all too familiar, as your now enthusiastic evangelist or infuriated invitee takes to TripAdvisor and re-counts his/her experience at length. Then you, as the proactive hotelier, address, dissect and evaluate the aggregated post-stay review with your team and take action on the requisite changes needed to improve future performance.
But what happens when you receive the feedback during stay? Again, this sounds like an age-old, simple scenario: anonymous guest calls from the room and comments about xyz annoyance, and action is taken to rectify and satiate. If only the hotel world was that simple. In this hyper-connected, social-mobile-and-locally optimized traveler landscape in which we exist, it is imperative for hoteliers to fully commit to social listening and exercise real-time response if and when the opportunity presents itself.
Enter real-world example at the Grand Hyatt New York: with over 1,300 guestrooms and located amidst the hustle of Grand Central Terminal, the property is a truly massive operation that attracts innumerable guests and, in turn, invites boatloads of social media feedback. This feedback, of course, requires proactive monitoring and response which the hotel handles expertly.
Late last week, during her daily social monitoring activities, Marketing/PR Coordinator Lauren Schubert saw an inundation of Twitter mentions about the hotel.
After surveying the thread of real-time feedback (to the left), she realized the buzz was due to a series of tweets sent by none other than professional baseball player - and highly influential social media user – Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10), who was clearly experiencing some in-room discomforts.
Immediately, the property’s social media champion actioned this feedback, sending an urgent message to all Front Office Managers alerting them of the situation. In tandem, she notified the property’s Convention Services Manager, who directly liaised with the team’s travel manager to assure them that any problems experienced by players currently were being handled.
Within minutes, the hotel’s maintenance and engineering team were on the scene, fixing the problems and – by doing so – putting out the wildfire of negative sentiment. Upon receiving such service, Chipper Jones sent out a tweet acknowledging the hotel:
The takeaway here is straightforward: real-time response through social listening can have a major impact on your brand’s reputation. While your property may not have a guest as prolific as Chipper tweeting to you on a daily basis, a proactive exercise in monitoring your customer’s feedback in real-time can only enhance your guest service delivery. The Grand Hyatt New York knows this lesson only too well.