Category Archives: English

What Does a Community Manager in the Tourism Industry Need to Know?

What Does a Community Manager in the Tourism Industry Need to Know?

The tourism industry is particularly sensitive to clients’ opinions, that’s why we need to care for so much the service we give, including of course Social Customer Service offered by customer-oriented Community Managers with experience in that sector.

A Community Manager in the tourism industry needs to:

1.-Master several languages:

It’s fundamental to handle clients of different nationalities who value assistance in their mother tongue. This is particularly true for countries where English is not widely spoken, such as Italy, France or Spain. Ortography has to be correct in each of the languages they use to communicate.

2.-Make an appropriate Diversity Management and Segmentation:

Do not publish any post or make any comment that could be perceived as discriminatory by any customer because of his/her nationality, race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, political preference or any other reason. Furthermore, you should always be inclusive and take advantage of the business opportunities that these diverse characteristics offer to your brand by making a right segmentation.

3.-Know how to handle difficult customers:

Be always grateful for the valuable information you receive with their complaints. Be empathetic, seek the best solution, keep your promises, offer Social Customer Service excellence in due time and form. You need to make a special effort to change any bad perception of the brand you manage and turn it favorable.

4.-Provide attractive content:

Nothing better than a blog to help us selling the destinations we want to draw our target audience attention and enthusiasm. From the blogs posts link the product you want to sell. Create communities of fans in large or specialised social networks and enliven them with daily publications with interesting content and attractive pictures.

5.-Customise to obtain engagement:

If you have a good CRM or you can create it, much better. In any case, call customers by name, identify their needs in order to give them a customised product, handle them personally from start to finish, create enthusiasm. At the same time run promotions and contests through social networks. This will surprise your followers and help you to obtain their engagement.

6.-Know and use the social networks best suited to your product:

The tourism sector has the great advantage that the visual factor is particularly powerful to attract sales. Social networks like Pinterest, You Tube, Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr and Vimeo are particularly suitable for touristic promotions. Regarding Social Customer Service, we recommend the use of Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. Short response service times are particularly important for any brand in this sector.

7.-The geolocation and specialised social networks:

For hotels, restaurants and similar establishments it’s essential to have a presence on Foursquare, Google Maps, Google Places and Facebook Places. Manage the comments made through them and keep the information updated. Also control and be particularly interactive for those received through tourism specific social networks like Trip Advisor.

Why Community Managers Need to Offer Excellent Customer Service?

Why Community Managers Need to Offer Excellent Customer ServiceWelcome again, Premium Social Customer’s friends!

Customer Service in today’s changing and competitive world is becoming an increasingly powerful tool that strengthens differentiation for those brands that realise how crucial it is to invest resources and efforts in the selection and training of customer-oriented staff for both online and offline positions. In times of economic crisis, only those companies that offer an excellent CS level, segmenting, personalising and making a proper diversity management will prevail in the struggle to maintain and increase their customer engagement and as a result of this, obtain a better economic turnover.

The idea that every week I try to convey through this blog is that Community Managers must not only think in terms of promotional marketing, or become geeks who schedule by using the different tools their posts in the various Social Networks but without interacting and humanising their brands presence on them, or being only obsessed with monitoring the competition and their own KPIs without seeking the reasons why things go wrong. Yes, we do need to devote time to the above mentioned subjects, which are very important but what it is even more fundamental is to offer an excellent Social Customer Service to become the customer voice for the brand and the brand voice for customers. We must assist them in the response times required by the current market, highly active on Social Networks, with increasing presence and use of mobile terminals and respecting at the same time the good manners, enthusiasm and personalisation who have always been key success factors in traditional telephone and “face to face” Customer Service. The CS veterans realise that the newcomer Community Management is part of a larger whole, which is the overall satisfaction of customers across all channels through which we are pleased to be in contact with them, both online and offline. In my point of view, a good training and/or experience in offline Customer Service is an important asset for Community Managers because it facilitates the adoption of attitudes oriented to achieve excellence in Social Customer Service.

6 Useful Customer Service Tips on Google Plus

It is my pleasure to welcome you, Premium Social Customer’s friends!

Google Plus is a social network that is gaining more and more followers and companies are rapidly including it in their SMM strategy. It has about 540 million active followers, compared to 1230 million Facebook followers, yet growing fast enough especially in the younger age groups and new technologies lovers. There’s less interactivity on its brand pages because its use is still unknown for many of its followers. Yet it is highly recommended for brands to be present on it for many reasons such as SEO positioning and an excellent virality. I’ve made a study of Google Plus presence for several American and European companies in different sectors and I’ve found that many of them need to enhance their Social Customer Service on it. I don’t mention their names for professional discretion.

These are the tips on customer service on Google Plus brands need to follow:

1.-Do not open a brand page on G+ and leave it abandoned:

With few exceptions, customers interaction is not replied by brands as quickly as it should. If a brand is really interested to be present on G+, then it has to manage that account in the same way that it does with its accounts on Facebook or Twitter. We know that there are also cases of mismanagement on these other social networks but these are even more usual on Google Plus.

2.-When dealing with different countries, assist your customers in their language:

Of course your communication with your customers has to be in their own language. Consequently you need multilingual Community Managers.

3.-Make your feedback using the same channel (Google Plus):

If a customer wishes to contact a brand via G+, the response should be through the same channel. I’ve found the case of an airline passenger who complained because they offered to help him on Facebook since they considered their G+ account as promotional only and he had no account on that social network.

4.-Promote your Google Plus account:

It shows that it is alive, that you expect people to interact on it. Publish posts, ask questions, announce events, organise hangouts, open a community. Make it known online and offline that your brand has a page on that social network and promote it also on other Social Media channels.

5.-Use the Circles:

This is an awesome G+ advantage. You can create various circles and segment your messages to each target audience.

6.-Of course, use your experience on other Social Networks:

You can follow the same recommendations about Social Customer Service that I explained on my post 8 Steps for Effective Customer Service on Facebook.

6 Useful Customer Service Tips on Google Plus

Social Customer Service vs Generic Brands

Social Customer Service vs Generic Brands

It’s a pleasure for me having you as a guest on my blog!

The reduced purchasing power of many consumers as a result of the crisis has led to a surge in sales of generic brands at the expense of top brands. It is very easy to forget our loyalty as consumers when supermarkets offer similar quality products that we can buy for even less than half the price, particularly when there’s no much spare money in our pockets.

Top brands have a great ally in the promotion through social networks in their fight against the above mentioned disadvantage. These are very low cost communication channels compared to more traditional ones and at the same time they have the ability to achieve the engagement of users and turn them into loyal customers through excellence in Social Customer Service. It is in this sense that they can make a difference to generic brands, because when consumers know that they can trust a service that helps them as they deserve with any problem or concern that may arise related to a product, they will have a greater propensity to pay more for that added value. This is why top brands need to:

1.-Promote that channel through their own social networks, websites and also offline through more traditional channels such as TV or print ads.

2.-Have a bold presence on those social networks that can best reach their target audience.

3.-Have interactive and engaging fanpages. Make promotions and contests to keep alive their interest to follow them actively.

4.-Have a team of professionals trained in Community Management with customer-oriented attitude and skills. Experience in offline Customer Care is always a plus when it comes to providing a good level of Social Customer Service.

5.-Give tools that allow their Community Managers to solve critical situations and satisfy customers. Nothing generates so much engagement as giving clients more than they expect and treating them in a personalised way.

You Get What You Pay For in Social Customer Service

You Get What You Pay For in Social Customer ServiceNice to see you again, Premium Social Customer’s friends!

At a time of deep economic crisis, most companies are forced to adopt cost cutting measures. These affect too frequently Customer Service, which many managers still see as a function that can be performed by untrained and not sufficiently motivated low-cost staff. So, in an effort to spend less financial resources, service is provided by people in a working environment that doesn’t promote productivity, effectiveness or efficiency. Employees don’t fell identified with the company they work for and consequently Customer Service level becomes affected. This certainly has a negative influence on the image projected by the brand and in the Social Media Era with its high virality, any malfunction becomes quickly evident for all its customers and followers.

All of the above also applies to Community Managers. The management of a brand cannot be left in the hands of people without motivation, training, customer-oriented attitude and communication skills needed to successfully overcome any crisis on Social Networks. We see with amazement that many jobs in this sector are aimed at extremely young people without any work or life experience, without the “savoir être” or the “savoir faire” required to successfully carry out such a delicate task. Sometimes, employers ask for technical knowledges but they do not mention the most important aspect: the art of communicating properly with their Social Network users. It is very usual to see big brands badly managed regarding response times and interaction manners with their users on Social Media pages and accounts. In this sense, Customer Service experts have a lot to offer to this relatively new profession. On this blog there are several posts already published that speak about the importance of an excellent Social Customer Service level. Only those managers who realise the great added value that this represents and devote the necessary human and physical capital resources to it will succeed in making their brands become leaders in Social Media engagement, because you get what you pay for in Social Customer Service.

What Happens in Case of Absence or Bad Management of Social Networks?

What Happens in Case of Absence or Bad Management of Social Networks?Thank you for being here, Premium Social Customer’s friends!

In the current Social Networks era, brands need to have a well managed presence on them and this is sometimes better understood by small shops or restaurants than by many larger companies. I will briefly relate on this post two negative experiences as a client that I have recently suffered. One of it has to do with no presence at all on Social Media and poor Customer Service while the other case is about a brand with a Facebook fanpage but who makes a bad management of its Social Networks.

I was called by phone by an employee of a public service oligopoly who didn’t tell me his name or which department of his company he was calling from, but he did mention the name of the company and warned me that I was going to be charged an amount that month 6 times higher than usual and that if I didn’t agree I needed to contact a call centre. I went immediately to check my meter and realised by using a simple “rule of 3” and the previous month bills that they were wrong and that my consumption was within normal, then I called the Complaints and Incidents Dept. phone he gave me and they were unaware of the trouble, so I dialed another number that was on one of their bills as Meter Reading Dept. where they didn’t know anything either but noted my figure. I thought everything was solved. My surprise was that a week later the bill copy arrived by mail with the wrong amount, already deducted from my bank account. I called again their Meter Reading Dept. where I was “bounced” to Complaints and Incidents, where they said that in 7 days I was going to have the overcharged amount refunded. Since I was already mistrusting them, I searched on the Internet to see if the brand managed a Facebook page or Twitter account and my surprise was that they didn’t have any. Then I managed to find thanks to Google Maps their closest to my home Customer Care desk, went there and the agent who assisted me, who didn’t let me expose him the whole case, reiterated that I had to wait a week to get my money back.

The expected day arrived and there was still no refund in my account so I insisted again with Complaints and Incidents and that time they gave me a reference number, asked for my mobile phone number and told me they were going to call me later. The day after and without being contacted I called back again and they said that only 24 hours of my notification have passed and that I was going to receive the refund within another 7 days time and that the only way of sending them a letter of complaint was by postal mail! I asked for a supervisor and the agent on the phone replied: “I can’t because I am in charge of this call and have to assist you from start to finish”. Then I went back to the Customer Care desk and their employee told me in a rather rude way: “You have no reason to complain, this is the normal time for both billing and refunds.” The day after I received a refund invoice with the correct amount without even an apology letter. Finally, I received my money back.

Leaving aside the wrong billing and their lack of reaction when I communicated them the right meter reading, I will focus on their Customer Service mistakes:

1.-Employees who didn’t mention their names unless the customer asked them to.
2.-A Customer not handled either by the same agent or by the same department from beginning to end.
3.-Both the Complaints and Incidents and the Meter Reading Dept. said they didn’t have in their database the wrong misreading they had made of my meter.
4.-The Customer Care desk employee didn’t let me explain him my case and he behaved at all times with a “defensive” and lack of empathy attitude.
5.-The first time I contacted The Complaints and Incidents Dept. they didn’t give me a reference number of my complaint.
6.-I was never contacted on my mobile phone despite they promised it.
7.-In the second decade of the 21st. century they only accept written complaints by postal mail.
8.-They didn’t let me speak to a supervisor.
9.-No presence on Social Networks where they could have a feedback with their customers as a way to know why and how their service fails and improve performance at all levels.
10.-I never received an apology letter from the company.

The other case is about a chain of meat products stores. I started to follow their page on Facebook and wrote a post praising the quality of their products but complaining that some packs of beef burgers that I used to buy, now contained beef and pork, wondering why they did not continue selling the earlier version with less fat. I was replied that what happened is that the product always had the same composition indicated in the ingredients but now by law they had to state it clearer in capital letters and then their Community Manager wrote: “What happens is that you failed to read the whole label”. No comments! They also commited another social customer service mistake: It took them 23 days to give me that bad-mannered reply! Of course I immediately stopped following their page and buying their products.

How to Handle Difficult Customers on Social Networks? 10 Keys

How to Handle Difficult Customers on Social Networks 10 KeysBe very welcome, Premium Social Customer’s friends!

The role of a Community Manager has a promotional and technical side oriented to online marketing : the Social Media Marketing plan, content creation and curation, the measurement of your results and the analysis of your competitors. Another basic aspect is the need to be continuously updated on the different Social Networks, the various management tools and everything related to technology. Finally, it requires a great time availability, empathy, self-control and bargaining power: the Social Customer Service, the speciality of this blog. Today we will give some advice on how to handle difficult customers on Social Networks with these 10 keys:

1.- Appreciate their feedback :

Firstly you need to create receptivity. Consider that if an user has protested by no longer buying the goods or services offered by your brand or simply by not following your SM accounts, you are losing customers without knowing why. So let’s start thanking his/her involvement and showing interest in his/her complaints.

2.- Obtain and analyse all the information :

If the client has not given us enough information to assess the reason for the claim, you need to obtain it courteously by asking questions immediately afterwards in order to exactly know what happens. Do not act defensively in any case. These are basic customer service and ettiquette standards, valid both for online and offline assistance.

3.- Be empathetic :

Put yourselves in your customer’s shoes. How would we react if we had been treated the same way? Phrases like “I understand” or “I know what you mean” can open up many doors.

4.- Note that in Social Networks other people also read the dialogue :

Normally other readers tend to side with the unhappy customer and not with the brand, so you have to take good care of your language to avoid further exacerbate that bad perception. Instead of that, you should offer an acceptable solution to that claim in order to turn something that at first was a problem into an opportunity to enhance your image.

5.- Show yourselves always courteous and don’t take anything personally :

Good manners can always help to solve a complicated situation. Moreover, in response to any aggressive customer comment do not forget that you act as brand representatives and that they don’t really know you or have anything against you.

6.- If necessary, continue by other channels :

Tactfully and always thinking about the rest of the community watching your interaction, try to continue the conversation if it turns difficult to a more private channel such as a DM on Twitter, a Facebook message, a phone call or e-mail.

7.- Fast but with caution :

“Habillez-moi lentement, je suis pressé” or in English: “Dress me slowly, I’m in a hurry” it’s said that Napoleon ordered his assistant when he had to get ready to fight a battle. What I want to emphasise is that while it’s true that in Social Networks replies have to be made in a very short period of time, they must also be cautiously reasoned. That’s in fact an advantage in relation to traditional offline customer care, either by phone or face to face, where in extreme situations there is rarely a time margin for an agent to think about the answer given and only Customer Service experts are normally able to react appropriately.

8.- Prepare standard replies in advance :

A crisis protocol allows you to have different possible solutions to difficult situations, yet the variety of complaints that you will have may tend to infinity and there will always be something new, so you must also be able to improvise and have good negotiation skills.

9.- Good relationships with other staff :

It will allow you an easier access to technical data and tools better mastered by your colleagues in other departments. To obtain this you should always treat them as your internal customers, so they will be willing to help you when needed.

10.- Meet your commitments and make a good follow-up :

When you promise something to a customer, you must keep it. Likewise, you should contact afterwards to verify his/her satisfaction. This will surprise your client and make him engage to your brand and talk other people positively about it.