Let’s talk about good customer service within your author brand.
This passed week I took an overnight trip out of state. I booked the hotel the week before and THAT is when the experience started.
Yes, you heard that right…I said “experience.”
Most of the time, when you book a hotel, you get the confirmation email…then you show up to the hotel….and you stay at the hotel….and then you check out..and that’s it.
That did not happen this time. I was absolutely shocked when I started getting emails from this hotel. I got the normal confirmation email but then I got a we-look-forward-to-seeing-you email. In this email, they had everything important from their website, they gave me information on weather, dinning, and things to do in the neighborhood. Within this email they gave me options to customize my stay, access to their exclusive app, the ability to join their membership, and everything I would need to get in contact with them, cancel or change my stay, and where to send questions. It was professional looking, very informative and would have been super helpful if I needed anything.
Fast forward three days and there’s another email in my inbox, this time from their general manager. Yes, it was a form letter, and no it wasn’t personalized to me, but good grief, this person had taken the time to send me an email…not from some stuffy national hotel, but from a person I could potentially run into during my stay.
This letter thanked me (again) for choosing to stay with them and wished me a memorable and enjoyable stay. It then went on to tell me specifically about their hotel, their restaurant, and the specific attractions they thought I might like.
Furthermore, within this email, the general manager specifically said that they were there to make sure my stay with them exceeded my expectations and directly asked me to read out to them personally should I need anything and they would make all the arrangements for any special requests I might have. They continued to encourage me to email them before my stay if I needed anything at all. Talk about accommodating! Talk about feeling taken care of and supported!
Before I could even worry over my special requests (I didn’t have any, but let’s supposed I did and I was worried about how it would be handled) they put my mind at ease and assured me they would not only help, but they wouldn’t judge me, give me a hard time, or complain about me for asking. I felt taken care before I ever set foot in the hotel…before I even turned the keys in my ignition in my driveway before I made the four hour drive.
I’ve been home for the better part of a week now and this afternoon I got another email from them. This time they thanked me for coming and asked me to come back another time. In fact, they made it easy for me to do so by giving me special offers, a specific link to book my next vacation, special family deals, and the opportunity once again to join their membership club. They then gave me the opportunity to give feed publicly on TripAdvisor so my thoughts could help others pick their hotel.
Do you see how amazing this customer service was? I never would have known anyone at that hotel, and it was unlikely I would have met or befriended any of the employees during my short stay, but I knew walking into that building that if there was a problem, the general manager who emailed me was the one to see, and I knew they would take the time to listen to me. And I knew this person by name.
I didn’t know them, but I felt taken care of by them. I know they would have my back and they’d take care of anything that would come up.
So what can we learn from the Hilton?
Customer service is important. Making your fans feel supported is important. Showing people you are there for them even when you don’t know them personally is important. Because when fans feel supported, when they are made to feel important, and when they know they are being taken care of THEY WILL RETURN AGAIN AND AGAIN.
What can you as an author do to support your fans?
*Post content reliably.
*Engage with them on social media.
*Like their social media posts on their pages, not just things they tag you in.
*Do random kind acts for your fans.
*Host live Q&A times.
*Have a series of automated emails that go out when people sign up for your newsletter giving them deeper insight into your books.
*Tell them you appreciate them by giving them shout outs on social media.
*Welcome them by name to your street team group.
The key is to visibly be there for them. They need to see you have taken notice of them and that they matter to you. You might not have time to be best friends with all of these fans, but you certainly have the ability to support them in the little ways.
Take a note from the Hilton…be there for your fans before they know that they want you to be there for them.
To happy trips and happy fans!