With the rapid increase of social media campaigns over the last few years, it’s no surprise that some airline and hotel programs have sought to go to the extra mile to really “wow” some of their most interactive fans.
Over the past few months alone, I have seen several examples (which are further explained below) of how some travel brands have voiced their appreciation to their most loyal customers – in completely awesome ways!
The funny part is this: until earlier this week, I have pretty much always been a sidelines-observer of these amazing social media/customer service stories, and even though they have never involved me personally, I still vividly remember each instance and always talk about them to friends and family to this day – talk about leaving a lasting impression!
Now it was my turn.
When I arrived home from the Chicago Seminars this weekend, there was a a very unexpected and pleasant surprise waiting for me back at home.
I noticed a rather large and festive box from Starwood hotels next to my usual pile of mail. For those who remember my recent post about Starwood’s “Spin to Win” game, I was one of the winners of the SPG limited-edition Kate Spade totes.
Hidden between the lines of my post, I playfully included this sentence: “hey if any folks at SPG somehow happen to be reading, I’d really like the “Love is in the Air” bag… wink wink”. Did I really expect someone at Starwood to actually read this post? Most definitely not.
I opened the box, and boy I was wrong…
I peeled through pretty tissue paper and found a card with my name on it. The hand-written note from the Starwood social media team stated that they found my hidden request and sent me the bag I’d been eying! Incredible!
The most astonishing part of this whole story is this: my original win was not exactly from my personal account in particular; I won using Mr. Points Traveler’s account [hey, still my prize ;-.)], which is registered under a completely different address and last name.
I can only draw one solid conclusion: the folks at SPG went the extra mile to look up my account information and mailing address, and sent the prize to me instead of sending it directly to Mr. Points Traveler’s business address. I genuinely smiled ear to ear all day – wow!
Lufthansa sent reader Jon (@jonk) a personalized thank-you tweet image.
American Airlines sent Jamison (Points Summary and @jamucsb) this personalized video. On another occasion, Jamison also received a surprise cook book in the mail from the folks at SPG when they learned via Twitter that his travel has slowed down a bit.
Around this time last year, George (Travel Blogger Buzz) and I were sitting down for lunch at a local Panera Bread talking points and miles when he and I found out we were apparently instant winners during the Virgin Atlantic #VAAintheUSA Twitter giveaway. All we did was respond to a tweet asking what our first flight memory was. I was thrilled to find out I had won a Bumble&Bumble hair product gift basket. George, on the other hand, won a free round trip flight to London! How cool!
Lastly, my absolute favorite example of “omg wow” customer service is this: My friend Jeff was recently stuck in a boring work meeting and tweeted at Virgin Atlantic during their #FITFOO Twitter campaign. Within an hour or so, a group of Virgin Atlantic flight attendants showed up at his meeting with a box of 100 red velvet cupcakes to help brighten his day! You need to read his full story here if you have not already.
What other examples of amazing social media/customer service can you think of off the top of your head? Better yet – do you have a story similar to these that you’d like to share? Looking forward to more smiles today as I read the responses!