The opportunity to differentiate here is wide open.

Customers are using Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook to ask questions, offer feedback, and get recommendations. This opens a fantastic way demonstrate your brand's customer service by helping current or potential customers solve issues or find solutions. Few brands are really going after this angle though - especially in the winter resort category.

Consider this scenario. Its 9:30. Kids are finally asleep and its time to plan out your vacation. You have a list of recommended resort websites. One of your kids has a peanut allergy so you want to make sure their learning program is nut-free. Search reveals nothing, but one site has LiveChat on and you get an answer back in seconds. Impressive. Then you hit their Facebook page to see what's going on and to see recent photos. You comment on a post of a cute kid skiing, and you soon get a reply with some additional info about the learning program. Tell me, that wouldn't impress you. 

This article in Skift reviews the Dutch airline, KLM, and how they're using social media + CRM to lead with customer service in social media.  Even if you're not at this size, this model can be scaled down. What is key is having systems, people, and process in place.

From a system standpoint, KLM's social media team is using Salesforce which offers a solution that pulls in those social media conversations and matches them with any existing customer data via CRM so that agents know who they are talking to. That CRM integration with Social Media offers a powerful resource to agents - they're not flying blind.  This same solution is within reach of many resorts.

Even if that's too much, more simple tools from Radian 6 down to Hootsuite will allow you to monitor conversations that touch your brand, and create opportunities to connect and impress customers or potential customers with your attentiveness and help.

While systems are key, good customer service only comes from PEOPLE. Well trained people who are savvy, empathetic and know your product inside and out. One part marketer, one part customer service agent. They need to love helping people and have process to guide issues that arise. Most importantly they need to be online when your customers are. That often means being there once the kids are in bed and the glass of wine is poured. 

Customer service is becoming an ever-more significant differentiator. It certainly is within the hospitality/resort segment, where every resort offers great snow surface, amenities, rooms, etc.  The quality of the service is becoming more and more significant and competitive - at least on location. The opportunity is to bring that online. 

The farther upstream you can demonstrate customer service, the better you will differentiate and convert.

>> photo credit of KLM's social media control room: Ben Kortman / KLM