For travelers leaving comments like “I hate My Room…” about a hotel or resort experience on Facebook, Twitter, and TripAdvisor.com, customers now have more power to write a complaint and be heard.
When Mr. Paul Horan stayed at Orlando’s Marriott World Center he tweeted, “At the Orlando Marriott World Center for RIM WES 2010 [a tech conference]. But have the crappiest room in the hotel,” his comment was read by Zachary Long at the front-desk. Mr. Long then slipped an apology note under Mr. Horan’s hotel room offering a pool-view room, the next day.
Guests who use social media like Twitter before they arrive may receive freebies like wine and better room offers. Mr. Long said only 1 percent of Marriott customers currently are active on Twitter. So companies are willing to go out of their way for Twitter customers.
The Orlando World Center Marriott uses HootSuite software to help them monitor and listen to guest insight. After monitoring Twitter comments, Mr. Long checks FourSquare.
Foursquare (4sq), also being used by restaurant businesses for location-based badge promotions, interacts with customers. Foursquare adds about 100,000 new users a week. While Chili’s Restaurant offers 4sq users free chips and salsa for a limited time to encourage customers to check-in at the actual restaurant, even if they don’t have a chance to earn “mayorship”. According to Foursquare, mayorships are awarded to your customers with the most days checked into your venue over the last 60 days, and only users who have uploaded profile photos are eligible. Some Foursquare users will not participate in a badge promotion if they don’t have a chance to earn mayorship according to Jill McFarland, director of marketing at Batrus Hollweg. Further, Chili’s 4sq offer makes it easier for cashiers to enter and track promotional codes off the customer’s phone. This measures out to a 20 percent redemption rate and provides excellent campaign results according to Stacey Sullivan, Chili spokesperson, as check-in rates double every week. Foursquare leads the check-in location-based mobile application among Gowalla, Whrrl, Loopt, and MyTown.
Tweeting and responding to comments left on Company social media sites or tracking Foursquare customer badges (even if users don’t get mayorship) give businesses an opportunity to pleasantly surprise customers and improve customer service.
“’I Hate My Room,’ the Traveler Tweeted. Kat-Boom! An Upgrade! The New Ways Hotels Track You and Your Compaints”. Sarah Nassauer, Wall Street Journal. June 24, 2010, D1.
“Restaurant Chains Using Foursquare To Interact With Customers”. Ron Ruggless. Nation’s Restaurant News. August 11, 2010.