When hotel brands respond to reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor and Booking.com it’s often a reactive endeavour.
When a customer publicizes a problem, the immediate priority is to address that concern and calm the situation.
But companies that only use social media to identify and neutralize issues as they occur – rather than learn from them – fail to fully capitalize on the information that social media unleashes.
Partnering with Best Western, Medallia studied data across nearly 4,000 of its properties to understand the impact of social media engagement on the business by looking at reviews on TripAdvisor and customer feedback data collected directly by its hotels.
We learned that hotel properties that didn’t respond to reviews on TripAdvisor actually lost ground to their competitors and saw their Net Promoter Score decline. On the other hand, hotels that responded to more than half not only saw an increase in NPS but also outperformed local competitors by 4.9 points in TripAdvisor ratings and even saw a 6% increase in occupancy.
As a result, we have identified four ways to engage customers successfully on social media.
Drive action to the local level
In social media exchanges, consumers engage on the local level. They take photos of the properties where they stay and the attractions they visit, they describe interactions they have with frontline employees. The first step is to follow your customers’ lead.
It often helps to give local managers the license to engage freely, authentically and rapidly through social media channels.
Frontline managers are in a position to take action most effectively in response to issues raised on review sites or through other social media exchanges, so they need to be full participants in the digital dialogue.
Establish clear response guidelines
Not every social media post requires a response. It may not be necessary to spend time responding to every post on every platform.