Using Social Networks to Influence Travel and Hospitality Bookings

Did you know that every Facebook fan equals 20 additional website visits? Or that one billion restaurant visits are influenced by online marketing? Social networks are easily accessible, powerful and often free tools that greatly impact the tourism industry. Use the infographic below, from Hospitality Net, as a handy guide to social networking in the travel and hospitality industry to start driving social traffic to your site!

Using Social Networks to Influence Travel and Hospitality BookingsMonetate Marketing Infographics

Four Keys to Killer Customer Service

Customer service skills can make or break a company. This article by Time points out that bad customer service can kill a company’s reputation, but it can also be a great tool for a savvy business owner working to get ahead of the competition. According to the article, there are three groups of people who determine who will do business with you.

1. People at your company with whom customers interact
2. People whom customers know in real life
3. People whom customers know and trust online

If any of these sectors practice bad customer service, it could be your competition that receives the extra business. Read the article to discover four keys to exceptional customer service that will leave your business booming and your customers happy.

Create A Welcoming Environment

Creating a warm, inviting environment makes customers feel right at home and encourages them to linger a little longer. Think about some of your favorite places to eat, drink or shop. There is a very successful boutique in Little Rock that offers complimentary hot coffee on a side table near the front door; it’s always a welcome sight for customers, especially when the weather is cold.

This article addresses the Top 10 Things to Make Your Customer Feel Welcome. Here they are in brief detail, and, best of all, they’re all free to you:

Smiling in Person
A small but important gesture, a smile is a first impression that goes a long way.

Smiling on the Phone
A bright, upbeat tone in your voice can help customers respond positively.

Store Appearance
This includes the parking lot and, of course, the storefront. Make a habit of tidying up during downtime.

Employees on Breaks
Offer employees a place of their own to take breaks, so your customers don’t get confused about who is available and who is not.

Electronic Welcome
If your business is Web-based, ask visitors to sign up for your e-newsletter. Send them a simple welcome message, and invite them to come back again.

Addressing by Name
If you have the opportunity to address a customer by name, whether in person, on the phone or via email, do it. A personal touch makes for a memorable experience.

Focus on Customer
Pay attention when a customer is speaking to you. Avoid unnecessary distractions in order to truly listen to their needs.

Personalize Your Communications
When possible, learn something about your customer, and use that new found connection when applicable.

Say “Thank You”
This is another big one! Thank each and every customer at the end of a transaction or communication.

Keep Communicating
Make an effort to continue the dialogue with your customers even when they are not buying from you. Send brief emails or mail postcards about new products or promotions.

Guest Service Testimonials from Flippin (Guest Post by Scott Sudduth)

Flippin
Welcome to Arkansas’s guest service training goes a long way to make our visitors feel welcome and help our communities profit. However, the biggest reason I’m passionate about these sessions is that they help Arkansans succeed on an individual level! Let me share a story that illustrates my point.

Earlier this fall, Flippin High School’s business class students became the first high schoolers in Arkansas to receive “First Impressions” guest service training certificates. Shortly after their training, Alyssa and Lance went to job interviews, taking their “First Impressions” certificates with them. Both of them got the jobs they wanted! Here’s what Alyssa and Lance had to say:

Dear Mr. Sudduth,
I want to thank you for taking the time to come to our school and present to us. It really opened my eyes on the workforce. With what you taught us I took that to my interview and got the job. You did an excellent job… I would love for you to come back again!
Sincerely,
Alyssa

Mr. Sudduth,
Thank you for coming the other day. It was really fun and interesting and the funny thing was that I had a job meeting the next day and I did everything you said to and I went home and the next day they called and said I got the job. Thank you. You really helped me.
Sincerely,
Lance

Guest service is all about making other people feel special and significant. But Alyssa’s and Lance’s stories remind us that learning these skills is one of the best things we can do for ourselves as well. When we commit to serving our guests with excellence, everyone wins – the visitor, the community and the worker!