A hospitality professional, Nana Sarpong, has called on owners of hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, hotel managers and other key players in the hospitality industry to consider social media as an effective tool for interacting with customers.

In an exclusive interview with Ghanaweb TV, Nana Sarpong predicts social media is likely to overtake press statements, in terms of customer interactions, in the future.

He based his claims on the fact that social media is currently the ideal channel for communication.

“Social media is real time. It is natural, it is not orchestrated, planned or staged. And that’s how the new world is communicating. They are communicating through the real-life experience. Social media will not necessarily replace but it will definitely get a higher precedence or presence than press release and other things,” he projected.

Nana Sarpong made these comments at the launch of the 2018 Guest Experience Masters (GEM) Awards at the Labadi Beach hotel on Monday, May 28.

He said, “Everybody looks at social media nowadays. People do not go on websites but what people are doing is they are using hashtags and they are following bloggers around the world. And that’s how we find information if you are looking for a location to travel to, social media is a powerful tool”.

Mr. Sarpong also cautioned key players in the hospitality industry to be meticulous about how they deal with negative reviews, especially on social media, a move he believes can destroy one’s business easily.

“It is a business killer. When you have that negative review, it takes a lot of effort to correct that negative review. And because social media travels so fast, you can imagine someone sending it to the next person, and before you know it, ten people. Before you know it, a million people have received that information and it is so hard for you to change that perception,” he asserted.

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He advised CEOs and managers of hotels, restaurants and travel agencies to take all complains of customers, whether trivial or grave, seriously since they go a long way to influence a prospective customer’s decisions.

“Responsiveness is key. When you get that information, you want to take it seriously. Everything that comes in you want the public to know that you are addressing it because they are looking for your reaction. So it is very important that, that information that you get, you work on it to improve and to reassure your new guests or your new clients,” he suggested.

The 2018 GEM Awards is an event established to celebrate the efforts of individuals and teams towards the progress and development of the hospitality industry.

The maiden awards ceremony will be held at the Labadi Beach hotel on Friday, November 9, 2018.

 

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