Social CRM Crucial To Hospitality Industry

‘The customer is always right’, that old adage that the service industry loves to hate. Most of the time it does hold true, but there are definitely a few customers who don’t know their onions from their onglet.

Service is not a Field of Dreams, you cannot sit back and expect the customer to always come to you, it is a service professional’s job to know what they want, how they want it and manage their expectations. To do this you need to be where the customers are.

 

Social CRM Hospitality
It’s not difficult is it, even a paper plate and marker pen will do!

 

 

I am still amazed by the number of restaurants, hotels and other hospitality businesses that continue to ignore social media,  it’s almost beyond belief!

Social media channels are a fantastic arena for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), not only can they solve issues, answer queries, deal with complaints and promote businesses offerings, but because they are in the public domain they show potential customers that you care, take the time to respond and action necessary responses quickly and efficiently.

ethicureanCustomers are online whether you like it or not, and most businesses have realised the potential of review sites like Tripadvisor and Yelp, but still too few make full and proper use of  social media.

It’s not enough just to use social channels like Twitter, they need to be used correctly. People don’t just want to be sold to, Twitter’s not a sales platform, it’s a conversation platform, but you can use it to raise your revenue.

Accounts that do nothing but retweet praise and share promotions really frustrate me (and probably their followers too), it doesn’t achieve anything! If people are talking about you online, especially negatively; listen, learn and if appropriate, engage with them – service doesn’t always end when the customer leaves the building.

Food and drink lend themselves extremely well to visual content sharing channels, and there are a number of hotels, restaurants and bars really using networks like Instagram and Pinterest to their advantage – don’t get left behind.

Your restaurant (or hotel etc) has a personality and your social profiles should reflect that, build a community around your online presence and develop a brand voice, it will pay dividends.

Social CRM is a powerful tool when used well and should not be overlooked. As business begins to return to pre-recession levels there’s a lot of competition for custom and your online presence and social service could be the difference between a full house and empty tables.

 

Image taken from Kevin Micalizzi on Flickr, under Creative Commons License.

Matt Silver

CIPR accredited corporate reputation consultant at Ketchum with an interest in emerging technologies, social business, politics and policy. Fond of fine food and drink. Member of PRCA & CIPR #AIinPR panel.