Will social media emerge as the ultimate client-service channel for hotels?
Or is it not social media that is supporting this increasingly digital customer-service exchange but rather the proliferation of handheld devices. And hoteliers, leveraging the rise of such devices by creating new apps to reach guests – both on and off property.
Marriott Hotels, for instance, has a mobile app that allows guests to check into their room and pick up a pre-programmed keycard at expedited mobile check-in desks. Hilton Worldwide Holdings’ Conrad brand launched a Conrad Concierge app that acts, as the name implies, as a full-service concierge, allowing guests to order roomservice, book spa treatments and choose what kind of bath amenities they want stocked in their bathrooms. And W Hotels’ app features streaming music in addition to standard booking and concierge services. The list goes on.
The nature of these apps vary, but the consistent thread is they allow for hoteliers to stay connected with guests, and vice versa—all while circumventing social media in their entirety.
But more likely the future of customer service will not be an either/or, wherein guests connect either via social media or a ready-made, brand-specific app. They will undoubtedly use both.
The consistent thread is both channels allow for hoteliers to stay connected with guests, and vice versa. Such is the level of personal interaction that is quickly becoming the hallmark of customer service in the new digital age.
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