For hotels and travel managers around the world, getting the customer experience right has historically been a word-of-mouth, face-to-face affair. A few years ago, having a disgruntled customer check out of your hotel would be the worst case scenario. The guest might share her poor experience with a few friends, which would not be ideal, nor would it be a deal breaker for your business.
With today’s connected consumer however, customers can instantly provide feedback about their positive – or negative – experiences not only to businesses directly, but to their broader social networks, all with a few taps of their fingers.
And those social networks are extensive, and brands of all sizes need to take these communication tools seriously. All it takes is one tweet, one negative (or positive!) review on Yelp or TripAdvisor and a brand can instantly be on a global stage.
A few years ago, Kanye West checked into his international flight from Los Angeles to Beijing a few minutes too late, and United Airlines denied him boarding. He was quite upset as United closed the aircraft door. What happened, and why do we care? West tweeted to his ~14.5M followers to express his frustration with the airline and their unwillingness to honor his ticket or his status. While this case is an outlier, it proves the point – a customer’s experience can be shared instantly with millions of people no matter where your customers are. And even if the customer is in the wrong, your brand can be painted as unaccommodating if you’re not careful. We’re pretty sure the social team and brand management at United weren’t too excited to read his comments.
The connected consumer equally holds the power to shape brand perception and influence other customers’ expectations and experiences. It has never been more important than it is today for hotel or travel managers to stay informed with up-to-the-minute information on what’s happening with their customers’ experiences. Whether it’s consolidating feedback from a variety of platforms, such as social media, or identifying service opportunities to keep customers happy, these managers not only need to respond in real-time, but also need to make sure their decisions result an enhanced customer experience and increased brand confidence.
Andrew Warden is the Global Director of Marketing for Brand and Customer Experience, and Market Opportunity and Innovation. He can be reached at Andrew.Warden@gfk.com or on Twitter @apwarden.
GfK Echo is an on-demand platform that combines traditional customer experience surveys with publicly-available third party data (e.g. social media) to provide an accurate, real-time view of your customer experience. The platform incorporates industry-leading predictive modeling to identify which specific actions will drive incremental sales growth.
GfK Echo will even send Hot Alerts to identify critical service recovery opportunities, and allow managers to assign the task to virtually any member of the organization.
So the next time a customer enters your hotel, store, bank, restaurant, or airport, GfK Echo has the expertise to help you navigate an increasingly complicated digital world.