The Evolution of ‘Social Care’: Why Travelers want Customer Service on Social Media

The Evolution of ‘Social Care’: Why Travelers want Customer Service on Social Media

Regardless of the types of tours that are provided or the activities that are offered, tour operators all have one thing is common: They need to be on top of their customer service. This has long been a challenge for tour and activity providers, just as it is for anyone in the travel industry. It’s not because tour operators don’t care about the customer experience, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. But rather, they are faced with a unique situation in which their customers are emotionally connected to the experience that they have purchased, and they can be quite passionate about the end result.

The Emergence of “Social Care”

Social care is the name given to the customer service experience on social media platforms. It naturally developed as brands began creating profiles on the top social networking sites, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Once consumers began connecting with their favorite brands online, they discovered that this was a more personal way to reach out to brand representatives. It seemed clear that it was an easy way to get an active response in the event of a customer service issue.

The Rise of Customer Expectations on Social Media

Consumer expectations on social media are quite high, and social care presents tour and activity operators with several challenges to consider:

  • Social networking sites are always open and your customers can reach out to your brand at any time of the day, regardless of time zone. Reasonable or not, they expect a response from your brand in a timely manner. Often, social users believe you should interact and engage with them in a matter of minutes or hours.
  • Customers also expect a deeper, more meaningful response from brands that are representing themselves on social networking sites. It’s more than telling them you are sorry for the experience or thanking them for their positive feedback. You need to get the back story, and offer a valuable solution or reward.

How to Succeed at Social Care as a Tour Operator

Whether you operate an independent tour company with a few employees or you manage a corporate chain with several locations, you need to develop a social care plan for your company. Assign one specific individual or a team of individuals to manage the social networking sites. Ensure that there is someone available at all times to respond to customer inquiries, address concerns and appreciate positive feedback. Try to respond within an hour, and do your best to showcase your superior customer service at all times. There’s other travelers who are watching how you respond without actually engaging with your brand.

Social care blends your business goals with your online marketing strategy. Developing a presence on social media leaves you vulnerable to honest feedback from your customers. While most of your feedback will likely be positive, there’s a chance that an issue may arise every now and then. Be prepared with a response plan, and make sure that you have staff members dedicated to maintaining your presence on social media. To find out more about developing a positive presence online, download the Rezdy online marketing ebook today.

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