Feature: Go Travel: Tips, Trips and Traps

Why Companies Stress Brand Promotion Over Customer Service

Author: Kaleel Sakakeeny
Published: March 20, 2012 at 8:53 am

You can’t blame travel suppliers and companies for their myopia. For too many years they’ve had a Pavlovian response to their brands: promote them, and get around to taking care of customers later.

Or maybe never.

In spite of all the brouhaha that suggested social media was the way of connecting with and servicing customers, the facts seem to speak differently, according to Hotelmarketing.com .They report that a huge 62% of customers are looking for more support through social media. But, brand reputation and promotions still top the list of how companies are using social media.

In the travel industry, there are not many destinations or destination management organizations (DMO’s) that use their on line presence to support the needs of their customers, or would-be customers.

They’re just too busy promoting the virtues of their properties to actually ask what their customers want, and more importantly to answer questions or provide quality, individualized advice.
Unfortunately, the disconnect between what customers want and companies are giving is actually growing.

At the end of 2011, MarketTools reported that only 23% of US companies provided customer service via Facebook and 12% provided customer service via Twitter.

Econsultancy  goes on to point out that many companies just don’t get that they’re in business to serve us, the people, who spend 23% of our time on line. That using corporate social media muscle to promote brand and not to give the people, their customers, a voice, is very wrongheaded.

Econsultancy’s cool  Infographic vividly shows that the retail industry, once again,  has the the highest percent (45%) of customers using social media as their voice, and contacting (and getting) support through social media.

Travel and Hospitality come in third third with an unimpressive (34%), but Health Care comes in last, with just 9 % of customers using social media to contact a health provider or hospital.

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Kaleel Sakakeeny

Kaleel Sakakeeny is the CEO of New Media Travel (NMT) providing timely travel news and information for consumers and the travel industry as Travel Video PostCards, Audio PostCards, and posts. Twitter follow: @newmediatravel http://www.newmediatravel.com …

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