During a time in which customer expectations are at their highest, superior customer care has become a competitive differentiator for businesses. While top-notch customer care is important for all types of businesses, it’s particularly vital for companies within the travel and hospitality sector.
Travelers and vacationers are special types of customers. These individuals are spending a great deal of money and time with an organization and therefore expect a greater level of customer care. They want to interact with employees who are knowledgeable, helpful and courteous.
This customer base is also very savvy when it comes to the Internet. They are scouring the Web for the best travel and hotel deals as well as sharing their advice and opinions on review sites and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
To meet the demands of their customer bases, travel and hospitality companies are experimenting with new and innovative customer care strategies. For example, the industry in particular is stepping up its game by integrating text alerts and push notifications to travelers booking flights and hotels.
Popular airlines such as Alaska Air and Delta enable flyers to track the status of any flight or all of their future flights with text message notifications. What’s more, hotels are using push notifications to allow travelers to check-in and check out of their rooms without waiting in long lines.
Not only is the travel and hospitality industry leveraging mobile capabilities, but they are also using social media to connect with customers. For instance, Sol Wave House Hotel in Spain is leveraging Twitter in a unique way. Guests can tweet to the hotel’s concierge staff to request room service or pool-side drinks by using the dedicated hashtag, #WaveTaxi.
Other hotels, such as the Four Seasons Dallas and Australia’s 1888 Hotel, are using the popular photo sharing application Instagram to engage with guests. The hotels post guests’ social media photos on screens in the lobby and even have a dedicated “selfie” area in which guests can take photos during their stay.
These are just a few examples of how the hospitality and travel industry is stepping outside of the box and using multiple channels to better communicate and connect with their customers. Other industries could benefit from an integrated approach to customer care as well.
For example, try experimenting with different social media platforms. Encourage your customers to reach out via a dedicated hashtag if they have a simple question. Or ask them to share great experiences they’ve had with your product or service.
You might be surprised to find that a lot of your customers are already discussing your business on social media—and the last thing you want is to be left out of that conversation.
Customers’ expectations will only increase as time goes on and more options become available to them. Other industries ought to take a page from the travel and hospitality industry’s book and leverage different tools to improve the quality customer care. After all, you only have one shot at making a good first impression.
Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.