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Jim Bell

Jim Bell National Sales Executive

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Social Media - Are You Doing it Right?

 

I love Social Media!  There are times when you throw a tweet or review out there and you wonder if anyone is listening.  Here's my story.  Last month, I was in Indianapolis for a swim meet for my daughter.  I use Priceline a lot when we go out of town for our swim meets just due to the savings that I can get through them.  I have never really had a 'bad' experience until then.  I had booked a room at the Hilton downtown Indy at a heavily discounted rate.  I ended up paying $79/night on one of the busiest weekends of the year in Indy with the Brickyard 400 going on.  I was a little surprised I got a room downtown at that price.  Whenever I book my rooms, I will call the hotel after I get my confirmation to request 2 beds since I am traveling with my family and have never had any problem.  They made a note in the computer system for my request.  

We had gotten done with my daughter's morning session at the Natatorium at 10:30.  I had a feeling I knew what the answer would be if we went to the hotel to attempt to check in since it was early.  I tried anyway just for grins.  With no disappointment, I wasn't able to check in since I was about 4 hours early for check in.  We ended up going to a friends hotel to hang out.  When I attempted to check-in, I had asked about having 2 beds and they said that they were booked and couldn't help out.  I threw a tweet out there with some disappointment and got a response from @HiltonHelp and they held to the story that I had gotten at the hotel.  Below is the DM's that I had with them.  (Read from the bottom up.)

We went to a friend's hotel to hang out until we could check-in, and I had gotten online to see if their story was true.  To my surprise, I was able to get a room with 2 beds for that night for $329/night.  

I had called the hotel and stated what I found online and they responded, "Oh, we do have one room left."  Surprise surprise.  I ended up getting my room that I wanted without backing down.

The story doesn't end there.  Yelp isn't used very much in our area, but I am making an effort to get more involved in reviewing on there since I do go to them when looking at restaurant reviews when we are out of town for swim meets or other occasions.  My wife has gotten in her vocabulary, "What is their rating?"  I wrote a not so great review on the hotel, and to my surprise, an email showed up in my in-box this morning that someone had responded from Hilton on my review.  (Below is my review and their response.)

 

I was utterly shocked to see a corporation of this size respond to my review.  Yes, it took a little time for it to hit my email, but I will give them the utmost respect for responding the way that they did.  They reached out through the social media avenues, they actually listened and responded.  

We are all small dealerships and companies in relation to Hilton and they were proactive and responded to a complaint online.  They are doing social media right.  The question is, are you?  Are you responding to the good and the bad reviews?  Yes, we want to know the bad because we can learn from it and it shows that we can't satisfy everyone, but you have to respond and not just ignore it.  Respond to the good, bad and the ugly and do it right.

Ryan Gerardi
Hey Jim. Good story. I haven taken issues like this to the web and it is interesting to see which companies are able to nip stuff like this in the bud before it starts working against them. Glad to see things worked out with Hilton. I am a frequent Hilton guest. Great brand.
Jim Bell
Thanks for the comment Ryan. It is interesting to see companies respond, and not just any companies, but big ones. I have had a similar instance with AT&T where they resolved an issue all through social media.
Shawn Clos
Great Post Jim!! You are right if large companies like Hilton and AT&T can respond to reviews and make thier clients feel at ease, why can't dealerships do this as well? My thought is that the average follow the leader dealerships out there just do not understand the power of social media. Thank you for sharing Jim!!
Jim Bell
Consumers want to not only see the reviews, but want to see engagement. Shows that they care.
Chris Costner
Great examples Jim. The question companies need to ask themselves today, is "Who truly owns our brand?" - I think the answer lies in this post. Can be a GREAT thing for those doing it right and for others it can certainly be a nightmare. Keeping in the true sense of transparency, I'm still a little concerned that the initial DM conversation wasn't addressed in the open feed for everyone to see. It is great news your issue was resolved. What are your thoughts or anyone else's here on resolving in open feed? Should issues be addressed behind closed doors?

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