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Complaints via Social Media: A Better Way to Get the Attention You Deserve?

If you don’t like your hotel room or service, where will you go to complain your unpleasant experience? Front Desk? Guest Service Manager? General Manager? How about your friends or fans on Facebook or Twitter? Sarah Nassauer suggested in the Wall Street Journal that travelers’ complaints within their social networks may actually have more power.

Hotels are well aware of the important influential effects of online reviews and comments. According to a study by comScore Inc., 41% of leisure travelers and 50% of business travelers admitted that online reviews influence their travel decisions. Many hotels have already been tracking and/or monitoring current and past guests’ posts on Twitter, Facebook, TripAdvisor, and other social networking sites. As a result, complaints posted on social media may receive prompt attention and be addressed quickly.

As a guest, if you want to receive better service, you may take Sarah Nassauer’s advice:
• Reach your hotel online via Twitter and Facebook.
• If no page is available for a specific property, look for the hotel brand or company.
• Post a message on Facebook or tweet that you are going to stay in so-and-so hotel.
• When posting a complaint, be specific by saying “I hate X Hotel for Y reason.”
• “Use the hotel’s specific “handle,’ or Twitter name in your message, like @StarwoodBuzz for a Starwood property.”
• Use your real name so that you can be “tracked” in a hotel’s operation system.
• Have a lot of online friends or followers. The more, the better.
• Be reasonable. “If the hotel senses you’re a lost cause, it may spend less time trying to fix the problem.”

So, what do you think? Facebook, Twitter, or real hotel staff?

References:
Nassauer, S. (2010, June 24). Hate your room? Travelers who tweet may find relief. The Wall Street Journal, p. D1 & D2.
Picture was downloaded from: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok06242010P

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