The last 2 years I have been traveling quite a lot for work, and although I love being in new and different places the disruptive aspect of traveling is not something I am very fond of. I don’t think I am the only one who feels this way and I see this as a huge opportunity space for both the travel and hospitality industries to make the travelers experience more pleasurable with a little help of some social media magic.

Great cases like @KLM Surprise Campaign showcase how social media can delight a traveler’s experience.

But it wasn’t until my last trip to Palo Alto, where I stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel, that I had a firsthand experience with customer engagement through social media.

A smooth landing

Before arriving at the Four Seasons I posted a tweet where I mentioned @FSPaloAlto and expressed how much I was looking forward to relaxing at their spa after the long journey. To my big surprise @FSPaloAlto replied to my tweet fairly quickly asking me if they should make reservations! WAUW! I was impressed!

Once in my room I found the following handwritten note welcoming me.

 

You can imagine that this put a huge smile on my face! It made me realize how a personal handwritten message can suddenly give a big hotel chain such as the Four Seasons a human and personal feel. Most importantly I felt welcome!

Enhancing my customer experience

Although I had a basic room, I was very happy with the high quality of it. A very big bedroom with a very comfortable bed, huge TV and an awesome bathroom with a huge bathtub!

 

So after a lovely night sleep I woke up and tweeted the below tweet to my followers.

 

Again @FSPaloAlto was quite quick in their response and as you can see, next to wishing me a good morning, they also took the opportunity to “up sell” me a dinner in the hotel restaurant (which is a very good restaurant by the way). This is very clever, I totally welcomed this tweet and did not mind the up sell at all. Actually I found it quite thoughtful!

 

But nothing prepared me for what I found in my room when I returned during the afternoon. Another handwritten note, but this time wrapped with a little present. Based on the morning tweet I posted about the great bathroom, they gave me a bottle of bath salt to fully enjoy the bathtub experience! This really blew me away. The thoughtfulness is incredible, and I was just delighted! (and had myself a perfect bathtub chilling!!)

Service becomes great and personal with social media

Now you can imagine I was getting quite spoiled, and at the same time I thought this was the best physical experience social media ever gave me, next to meeting great tweeps in real life.

The day I had to fly out I needed to print out my e-ticket, so instead of dialing reception to ask this question I just tweeted the below.

To my astonishment when checking out the sweet lady tweeting for @FSPaloAlto came to personally wish me a safe trip home, this completed the experience. People talk to people, not to brands.

What can I say; I think this is an awesome example of how social media can be leveraged by the hospitality industry. Four Seasons clearly understands how important personal experiences are and have jumped on the social media bandwagon to increase their level of service. A good investment, as they not only give people like me a great experience, they have turned me into a brand advocate.

I say, click here to book yourself into a Four Seasons to experience this awesome social media customer service!

Article originally posted on iStrategy Blog

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