Social media is no longer an up-and-coming resource which businesses may choose to use – it is here to stay and should be embraced to its fullest extent. The hospitality industry needs to make sure it is using the tool as a way to engage customers, but it must be approached with a strategy in mind.
One of the great things about the likes of Twitter and Facebook is that they make it easy for a business to see what a wide range of people think about the brand. This sort of direct feedback is important and restaurants and bars should be making sure that it is them their customers are engaging with as well as others. After all it is necessary to hear what people are saying about you whether it be good or bad, as the negative can be used to facilitate change and the positive to help publicise the brand.
Social media is a conversation and it is important that those in the hospitality industry remember that. If a customer tweets your business about a bad experience then this presents a good opportunity for the situation to be rectified. In the past there was not this platform for views to be aired and just as if someone were to complain in the restaurant they would not be ignored, they should not be ignored online either.
Replying to the customer and discussing the situation will help to turn the complaint around into a positive experience. Not only will this customer be happier, but other potential customers will see that the brand is proactive in dealing with complaints.
People know that things don’t always run perfectly according to plan all the time, but it is the way in which they are dealt with which is the difference between good and bad customer service.
Good comments on social media sites should not be underestimated and direct feedback schemes which encourage customers to spread their positive opinions across the net can be worth their weight in gold.