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From 'Like' to Love: Haven Holidays On Social

By Anna Drennan on Apr 5, 2013 10:51:00 AM

The holiday experience can be digital too, with a great social team to share it with

Haven Holidays is a well-loved brand. As one of the largest holiday providers in the UK, their customers are loyal, but social presented a brand new challenge that social media manager Lauren Stewart wanted to address quickly to keep the Haven customer experience a positive one.

Today, the Haven team delivers on a great customer experience over social channels too, and is well prepared for the high capacity peak summer season to come. I spoke with Lauren on the good work the Haven team does to enhance the guest holiday experience over social. 

How would you describe your goals for social customer service? What’s it all about?

Our main goals are to engage with our guests and be there when they want to talk to us. Facebook and Twitter are key for us and we have lots of guests who talk to us every day on these sites. We want to make sure we keep a record of each conversation so that we can keep delivering a good level of customer service and ensure we don’t miss any conversations. 

What does your team look like? How do you manage social customer engagement at Haven?

Our team comprises 4 social media advisors who sit within our Customer Care team and man the social media channels from 9am to 9pm, 7 days a week. We manage engagement through Conversocial, to track conversations and see how much we are engaging. We have set KPI’s to ensure that the first response will be within 30 minutes, with the problem or question solved within 24 hours (should we need to talk to our local sites to answer specific questions).

The team is managing well to keep within 30 minutes and it has become a business rule that if a question is asked on Facebook it has to be treated as a priority for an answer. We have seen positive sentiment increase since using starting to engage thoroughly through Conversocial, since we can now track conversation history better than before and build better relationships with our customers through Facebook and Twitter than before. And as the social team is part of Customer Care, we can deal with situation offline and hand over a case automatically as they sit within the correct team. 

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in building up a social customer service program, and how did you manage it?

One challenge that we had to address when we started was making social media a priority for the business and educating the team on how it works and how a public forum it is in which our guests are talking to us. We ran workshops for our team to teach them all about social media and how it works for our business, showing case studies from other businesses and explaining how important social is for customers today who have expectations of a quick resposne. We also educated the team on how important it is for us as a business to give the correct information on social media so that if the social team are to call the parks directly, that we are given the correct information in a timely manner.

Share some examples with us where you’ve managed to turn a customer around and really make your fans and followers happy. 

We receive lots of feedback during a guest’s holiday via our social channels so we make it a priority if we receive negative feedback to talk to the local team as soon as we get the message and help put things right during their stay with us. This works better than waiting to hear from the guest after their holiday. We see that as soon as we go back to them with an answer or some support, 90% of the time the problem can be solved. We don’t take things offline unless it involves a data protection issue and, which shows our other fans that we are here to help. 

What are your plans for your social operation in the future?

We want to keep increasing the number of our guests that use the social channels to keep up to date with Haven and give us feedback on how we’re doing, either what we’re doing well or what we can improve on. If this is how our guests want to talk to us, then we need to keep resourcing this channel and growing our social team.  It’s a great tool for us as a team to gain valuable feedback that helps us to improve our service and is useful for other guests to get to know our company better and share their holiday memories with others. 

Who do you think offers a great customer experience that crosses both offline and online? We'd love to here your examples in the comments below 

Topics: Best Practices, Brand Stories

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