Finding the Opportunities in Online Complaints

By Sherry Heyl Founder & Consultant, Amplified Concepts | December 28, 2014

In the days before the Internet, there was an accepted wisdom that if a guest or customer had a good experience they might tell a few friends, but if they had a bad experience, they would tell everyone they know.

  • The average number of people a social customer will tell about a good customer experience: 42. ~ American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer

  • The average number of people a social customer will tell about a bad customer experience: 53. ~ American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer

Now that everyone has the ability to be an online publisher and reviewer, the story of one per-son's experience is no longer limited to who they know. Stories can grow into worldwide Internet sensations. There are also no shortages of sites where a guest can express their opinions to oth-er travelers. TripAdvisor leads the pack, but there's also Priceline, Orbitz, Expedia, hotels.com, booking.com, and many other smaller players, not to mention the reviews that pop up on Facebook pages, Google plus, and within Twitter and Instagram streams.

All these voices and all these sites can feel so overwhelming that anyone running a hotel may de-cide to just bury their head and pretend none of it is real, and that none of it matters. But it is real, and online reviews matter a lot. Take a look:

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.