Recent research has shown that 57% of businesses could correlate online feedback with more business. With an increasing number of brands using social media as their primary channel for interacting with customers, we take a look at some great online customer service examples and what vacation rental owners can learn from them.
Never lose sight of the fact that there’s always room for improvement when it comes to your customer service and your guest’s experience. Check out the businesses below to see who is rocking at responding in style.
1. A little humor goes a long way
Laughter is the best medicine, or so they say. And it couldn’t be truer in the world of customer service.
The British supermarket chain, Tesco, really goes above and beyond all customer expectations with their Facebook replies.
Customer Wes Metcalfe got in touch to let Tesco know about a worm he’d found in his cucumber:
And the situation escalated pretty quickly. After a few back-and-forth interactions of worm funeral-related funnies, Tesco topped the exchange with an unforgettable rewrite of a popular song:
Though it might seem unlikely you’ll receive such unique comments or reviews to begin with, it’s always a good idea to be prepared.
Injecting a little humor into your interactions with guests can help you seem to appear more personable and reliable. Guests are going to remember and book with a host who is chatty and quick-witted over one who shows no personality in their messages any day!
2. Timing is everything
Being present (or at least connected) the moment a guest requires your help or assistance can be the difference between a glowing review or a critical one.
When Texan David Willis accidentally got locked in a London bookstore, he took to Twitter to get freed:
Hi @Waterstones I've been locked inside of your Trafalgar Square bookstore for 2 hours now. Please let me out.
While we don’t expect you to be at every guest’s beck and call, simply having your phone switched on or email alerts activated every time you are hosting can be super useful, especially when something doesn’t go to plan.
Being able to sort unforeseen situations calmly and efficiently will not only win your vacation rental brownie points, but also show that you’re a dedicated host who truly cares about their guests and takes responsibility for what happens during their stay.
3. Making customers happy is actually quite simple
Travelers choose alternative accommodations like vacation rentals for the “home away from home” experience, right? So really, you want them to fall in love with your place.
Take a look at what happened with one happy guest of the Gaylord Opryland Resort:
@GaylordOpryland Where can I buy this Sharper Image clock radio in my room? None in stores have the "spa" sounds & I've never slept better!
There’s no need for grand gestures or to give away your unopened linens (who knows…), simply making your guests feel completely at home from the moment they step inside your vacation rental will be enough.
Always make sure you have everything ready well in advance of each guest’s arrival: first-day breakfast supplies; well-stocked cleaning cupboard; soft, fluffy towels!
Sometimes as a host, you have to prepare for the worst. We’re not just talking disrespectful guests trashing your house, but more common issues that could happen to anyone – like delayed flights or vehicle breakdowns on the highway.
Fortunately, none of those happened to Peter Shankman, but he did get a big surprise when his Tweet dreams came true upon touchdown at Newark Airport.
Hey @Mortons – can you meet me at newark airport with a porterhouse when I land in two hours? K, thanks. 🙂
Morton’s The Steakhouse sent a server to meet Shankman at the airport, equipped with a 24 oz. steak and all the trimmings.
For guests, the phrase “if you don’t ask, you don’t get” springs to mind. Though for hosts, we don’t expect you to greet guests with their favorite take-out meal every time. Just bear in mind that there might be moments your guests could do with a helping hand, and you’re the only person that they know to call!
5. Be kind
What goes around comes around. And when you’re in the hospitality business – there’s really no escaping the fact.
Take a look at how Buffer gets their caring and thoughtful brand voice across in each and every interaction:
I hope it's the beginning of a beautiful friendship, Rose! ☺️ 1/2 -Bonnie
Regardless of which member of their team responds, or whether they’re replying to a brand or an individual, Buffer’s compliments, gratitude and exemplar emoji use really makes their customer service shine.
It doesn’t take a lot to be kind and considerate when interacting with your guests, especially online and in the written form.
A friendly, personable tone can speak volumes for your business and the types of guests it attracts.
There are just a few simple tips to remember: always address your guests with their first names (if they’re available to you), treat them with respect when handling inquiries or more sensitive issues like negative reviews, and remember that you are the face of your vacation rental brand.
Unless they’re private emails, most interactions can be seen by any of your potential guests on these channels. So keeping calm and collected, and always trying to be helpful will ensure that you appear in the best light possible. Never publish anything that could deter a guest from staying with you!
We hope you’ve learned something about customer service from these brands. What’s the best example of brand communication you’ve seen online? Let us know in the comments!
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