Using Twitter as a Tool to Deliver Customer Service

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Nov. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Chris Holden, SVP of preferred guest & digital at Starwood, discusses the power of Twitter for companies as they use it as a tool to engage guests and build customer loyalty. He speaks on Bloomberg Television’s “Market Makers.”

Chris, talk to us about starwood's' experience with twitter so far.

Starwood is a pretty active twitter -- tweeter.

You are probably out there yourself.

That's right.

At starwood, twitter is really a powerful relationship platform for us.

We use it to deepen the relationships we have if our guests -- with our guests.

From providing great customer service, but also by harnessing the insights about the trips are guests are on to really deliver surprise and delight moments to make a memory.

What is the cost of that?

You have people monitoring twitter 24/seven.

You have got complainers around the clock.

They have customer service issues.

It costs you money to have people monitoring this.

It is more about the opportunity.

What twitter provides is real- time feedback for us so that if someone does have an issue when they are staying with us in one of our hotels, we can resolve it while they are in stay.

That is very powerful, for us to be able to recover while someone is staying with us, to deliver that great guest experience, that builds loyalty.

And the fact that you do not have to pay twitter to have this medium, it did phrase a big chunk of the cost here -- defray s a big chunk of the cost here.

That is right.

We have associates available 24/7 to respond to customer issues that arise, to scour twitter and look for those moments where they can make a difference in someone's stay.

There is a dichotomy between capturing those moments, somebody tweeting, look at the view from the balcony at the w in miami beach, versus the interaction that goes on between your group and dissatisfied customers.

From a user's point of view, it makes for a disjointed experience to see one on one hand and the other on the other.

Twitter helps us in a number of different ways.

If someone has an issue and they tweet to us, let's say, i have a great example of a gentleman who could not find his reservation while he was at 35,000 feet.

Tweeted us, we were able to help them and deliver great service within five minutes so he could rest assured that when his plane landed, he would be sleeping in a westin heavenly bed that night.

We had a gentleman at one of our hotels in italy who happen to lock himself out on his balcony accidentally.

It was a childproof lock.

The instructions were in italian.

Once the hotel let him back in, we heat -- he tweeted about it.

Our twitter team delivered an emergency packet to his room.

I want the starwood experience.

Given what you know about how starwood would deal with the things before twitter existed, how much can you qualify if not quantify how valuable twitter is to your company?

It's a great question.

We look at a number of factors.

One of the main ones we look that is, someone's behavior with us and the relationship they have before that interaction, and continue to monitor it after they have an interaction with us.

We can see a change in behavior.

We see the guests become more engaged, deepen their relationships, and.

Give us more business -- and give us more business.

What if twitter puts pressure on you and says, i'm making money off of this.

Let's not give twitter any ideas.

[laughter] what twitter provides us is that great platform for building the relationship.

Given the fact you have that great platform, do you feel any pressure over or not to advertise with twitter?

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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