Stop Unfavorable Tweets

Consider a day in the life of Hotel 71 Chicago’s Director of Operations, Stephen Ellingsen who awoke one day to a firing squad of tweets aimed squarely at his hotel.

Meet the Twitterers:

Hotel 71 [@Hotel71Chicago]

Boutique hotel located on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile with:

  • 61 Facebook Fans
  • 92 Twitter Followers
  • > 400 views on their YouTube Channel

Amber Naslund [@AmberCadabra]

Director of Community for Radian 6 with an online reach of:

  • 500+ Linked In Connections
  • 1,592 Facebook Friends
  • 34,691 Twitter Followers

Excerpts from a Tweet Timeline

9.22.10, 2:14 am – 9.23.10, 9:19 am

Amber’s Unfortunate Guest Experience:

Amber: Unreal. I valet park my car in Chicago at the hotel in which I stayed, and they lose the keys. Not a joke. It’s 1am and I can’t leave.

Amber: Seriously. And this effing hotel staff is just calling their valet staff and hoping someone has the keys. And giving ME attitude.

Amber: Given my recent post on not calling out companies, I wouldn’t do so unless I was hopeless. But guys, skip Hotel 71 in Chicago.

Amber: Keys recovered. Desk clerk tells me that whether I pay for parking or not isn’t her call. Um. What?

Amber: Oh. And I stood at the front desk for a half hour while they searched. And no one spoke to me until I asked what was happening.

Amber: I took my keys. I left. I’m flabbergasted. Never again, Hotel 71. You lose. Driving now. Thank you guys.

Hotel 71 Responds, Resolving the Matter Offline

Amber: Wow. I just got a voicemail from Hotel 71 re: the disastrous valet parking situation last night, wanting to apologize and know how to fix.

Amber: Acknowledging and wanting to fix a mistake very often offsets the frustration of the mistake itself.

Amber Feels the Love Again

Hotel 71: @AmberCadabra – 4 those asking, Hotel 71 saw the Tweets, never underestimate Twitter! Yes, groveling, as it should have been, was involved

Amber: @Hotel71Chicago Your response was certainly appreciated. Thank you for paying attention.

Hotel 71 Ends the Twitter Thread on a Positive Note

Hotel 71: Sometimes things go wrong, Hotel 71 is no exception. What helps is guests giving us a chance to recover.

Amber: Born Again Brand Ambassador

Steven Ellingsen’s real time response to Amber’s public complaint curtailed a mini crisis. The hotel’s “apology mix” included a personal call to Amber, a series of penitent tweets, and statement of regret on Facebook. These actions moved an unhappy guest from a state of agitated anger to a feeling of being heard and understood.

Amber shared the happy ending in her power house blog, Brass Tack Thinking; an entry which has been read by her army of followers and retweeted more than 100 times.

Stop Unfavorable Hotel Chatter Dead in its Tracks

This story is a terrific example of how to resolve a customer complaint in a public forum like Twitter. Why? Because Hotel 71 used social media to remind all fans and followers about their commitment to the customer. Imagine if Ellingsen hadn’t been monitoring his hotel’s online reputation that day, and missed the opportunity to connect with Amber’s 34,691 Twitter followers in real time, assuring them that her grievance was addressed?

Listening to your customers is what matters most. What systems do you use for staying on top of your news feed and listening to online conversations about your brand?

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