Social Media for reputation management

I just want to share a great story about a recent experience of mine on Twitter.

I recently booked some accommodation online through one of those accommodation deal websites.

Got a great deal for a hotel in the CBD of Auckland NZ (where I am spending Xmas this year). 15 minutes after I booked, I realised I had booked my check in date a day early (whoops). I fully admitted that it was my fault on the phone to the hotel when I called to change. They said that because I had booked through the website, I’d need to change it through them. Kind of a long winded way to get it changed, but fair enough – so I called the helpline to make the change to my booking.

It was on this phone call that I got told that I’d be charged a $25 change fee – I was not impressed – I fully admit the mistake was mine, but calling 15 minutes after making my booking is not a change of mind decision, it is an honest mistake especially since I wanted my date to be altered by only 24 hours. But I said ok and got the booking changed – it’s Christmas and I couldn’t be bothered making a fuss. The girl on the phone that I spoke to was lovely and had it all sorted within a matter of minutes.

I then Tweeted my comment to the website saying that I wasn’t too happy with their fee, stating that in a case like mine, that the mistake was noticed within less than hour surely the whole fee isn’t really that fair to the end user?

Not expecting them to listen to little old me, one of hundreds of thousands of people using Twitter, it just felt good to get my feedback out into the twittersphere – 2 hours later I get an email from the website. They have reviewed my booking and feedback, and they have decided to refund me that fee – now that is customer service.

Not only they responded within a few hours to my feedback, they reviewed my booking and have earnt themselves a loyal customer. I was not expecting my complaint to be heard, let alone a refund.

Moral of this tale? Using Twitter and other Social Media platforms to monitor the comments being made about your brand is so easy. You can do a search by your brand name and see what is being said about you. It’s a great cost effective way to deal with complaints and feedback.

Image credit SEO Planter on Flickr