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Social Customer Service Now Critical for Hotels – Ep.61

We proudly welcome DJ Vallauri – Founder & President of, Lodging Interactive and The Interactive Firm! …And a quick Thank You to our sponsor, TribeBoost! A great way to grow your Twitter audience with relevant and quality people. Learn More Here, and be sure to use Coupon Code “unscrambled” for 15% OFF the first month 😉

DJ Vallauri - Founder and President of, Lodging Interactive and The Interactive Firm

DJ Vallauri – Founder and President of, Lodging Interactive and The Interactive Firm

Nowadays hotel guests expect customer service via social media pre and post stay, and a lack of engagement on the hotels part can damage their brand considerably. DJ explains…

But first – our news item: a judge declared that Yelp, a business rating website, can change its ratings based on whether businesses pay them money or not. This is especially frustrating because Yelp adds businesses to their site without the owner’s consent and you cannot take it down — unless you pay them. David said he uninstalled Yelp after hearing this because they are no longer a trustworthy source of objective information.

Then on to our guest: DJ from Social Voices. DJ’s company offers social customer service support to hotels with a fully-staffed, US-based company that monitors customers complaints in real-time, 24/7. This is remarkable by itself, but what really stands out is the return that hotels get who use his service.

DJ shared specific stories of how hotels have turned a social media complaint into something positive. The effect that these cases have on a hotels online ratings is enormous. [Listen to the episode to hear the stories]

First and foremost, people expect to be heard on social media, and if they are not they get frustrated and will oftentimes move to another service, quickly. Chirs asked David if he ever complained on Twitter about a company and David said yes, he complained about a conference hosted by Salesforce. They gave horrible service and David said he does not want to work with them because of that.

DJ says he uses Salesforce and other tools such as Radian6 (owned by Salesforce), HootSuite, SproutSocial and more to monitor hospitality complaints for clients such as Starwood Hotels, Hilton, Marriott and more.

Once a complaint comes in, they have an “escalation process” which allows for prompt replies from hotels to their guests. This process they have developed has helped hotels in many ways. As Chris pointed out, this means hotels do not have to hire full-time staff to monitor social accounts 24/7, saving them time and money.

The results for their clients are excellent: a happy guest will share their satisfaction across their social networks which increases brand loyalty. (Insert stats here.)

Finally our Tip of the Week: LinkedIn allows you to keep track of what everyone in your network is doing with the “Keep in Touch” feature, found under the “Connections” tab. Once you click on Keep in Touch, you can see what changes your entire network have made in terms of career changes, promotions, etc.

DJ Vallauri

DJ Vallauri - Lodging Interactive, The Interactive Firm, and

DJ Vallauri provides the overall company direction and continues to develop leading technology products and services for the hospitality industry. He has held sales, marketing and business development positions with companies such as Meridien Hotels, Reed Travel Group, American Airlines‘ – AMR Information Services, Cendant’s subsidiary WizCom International and Prime Hospitality Corp. In addition, he founded two e-commerce businesses, which he subsequently sold in early 1999.

Thanks DJ!!!

*and THANKS to all our listeners for tweeting along LIVE with hashtag #unscrambled!

And Thanks again to our sponsor, TribeBoost! (helping you grow your Twitter audience….and be sure to use Coupon Code “unscrambled” for 15% OFF the first month 😉

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