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Top 10 Customer Service Initiatives on Social Media by Airlines

Airlines, understanding the value of social media in responding to customers, have started developing customer service programs on social media reaping rich rewards.

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Top 10 Customer Service Initiatives on Social Media by Airlines

  1. 1. Top 10 examples of airlines and airports using social media for customer service and engaging customers more effectively. Featuring:Helping airlines & airports engage travelers profitably
  2. 2. Case-study 1Frontier Airlines: “Damage control”
  3. 3. Fighting Murphy’s law with social mediaWhen a storm hits anairline’s major hub it isreasonable to expect someflight delays. However, whatif that storm happens tocarry golf-ball-sized icepellets, and damages onethird of their fleet?The solution Frontier airlinesfound was called socialmedia.
  4. 4. Two easy stepsThe airline knew from the startthat a lot of passengers weregoing to arrive at the airport onlyto find out that their flights hadbeen cancelled so, in order toreduce the negativesentiments, they started usingsocial media to disseminateinformation.Step 1: Keeping peopleinformed It reduced stress and helpedcustomers understand what wasgoing on.
  5. 5. Listen! Empower! Engage!They also knew that passengerswere, understandably, going tobe angry and complain about iton the social web. So they usedRadian 6 to track down anymention of Frontier and addressthe complaints.Step 2: Being proactive andempowering their social mediateamThe employees wereempowered to help customersre-book their flights throughTwitter and Facebook.
  6. 6. Glowing results!Using social media ultimatelyallowed Frontiers to servecustomers much faster thanthey could have using“traditional” customer servicecounters.Lots of positive reactionsfrom “surprised” customers4000 customers engagedduring the crisis700,000 visitors to the Goals Drivenfacebook page Engagement Customer service Crisis management
  7. 7. Case-study 2Eurocontrol: “#flightdelay”
  8. 8. Not really the odd one outOne would expect airlinesand airports to be using socialmedia to help theirpassengers, but the air trafficcontrol plays an equallyimportant role in ensuring theefficient flow of air traffic aswell as providing accurateinformation to stakeholders.This is an especiallyimportant function performedby Eurocontrol during crises.
  9. 9. #flightdelay proves to be an excellent initiative Since Eurocontrol joined twitter back in August 2009 the hashtag #flightdelay has become a familiar sight on aviation related tweets, and the account @eurocontrol has become a reference point not only for passengers but also for airline staff.
  10. 10. Effective crisis management@eurocontrol became famous on Twitter during the Icelandic volcanocrisis that forced the closure of half of Europe’s airspace for several days.However volcanoes are not the only thing that keeps them busy.Amongst the most recent crisis are:  North African revolutions and subsequent airspace closures “surprise” strike from Spanish air traffic controllers  Greek strikes and frequent ATC delays  Italian volcano (mount Etna)  Portuguese strikes  Italian strikes Goals Driven Customer service Crisis management
  11. 11. Case-study 3CityJet: “Twitter concierge service”
  12. 12. Providing local knowledge to busy travelersAlthough still in its infancy,CityJet’s Twitter concierge isprobably the most innovativetool in airline social mediacustomer service. The aim isto provide personalizedrecommendations to thosetravelers who request them.The service is currentlyundergoing trials but it’sexpected to becomeavailable on all City Jetdestinations and provideanswers within 15 minutes.
  13. 13. Changing times. Changing approaches. “Twitter has become the „go to‟ tool for customer service within the travel industry [….] The majority of our passengers are business travelers and the Twitter Concierge taps into their need for a swift, efficient and seamless travel service.” - Christine Ourmieres, CEO CityJet Goals Driven Engagement Customer service Revenue
  14. 14. Case-study 4Air Asia: “Lil Miss Red”
  15. 15. Spot the right answer!When you’re a low-cost airlinein need of increasing yourcustomer service reach do you:a) Build an expensivetraditional customer servicecenter with hotlines etc… Orb) In true low cost style youcreate a dedicated web portaland social media accounts?
  16. 16. The correct answer is BAir Asia clearly seems tothink the answer is B.They were already theairline that replied tothe highest percentageof tweets in the world,but now they are scalingup their efforts with adedicated AskAirAsiawebsite, a dedicatedTwitter account and aFacebook tab.
  17. 17. Lil Miss Red presents…For its dedicated customerservice website thecompany also developed anice avatar called “Lil’ MissRed” that helps customerswith their questions.Likewise on the facebookversion of the FAQ searchengine they used the imageof their CEO, TonyFernandes.Goals DrivenCustomer serviceRevenue
  18. 18. Case-study 5Qantas: “Managing multiple crises”
  19. 19. Not a good year …Qantas recently had more than its fairshare of trouble. Amongst the mostrecent issues they had to deal withare: •The Chilean ash cloud that forced them to delay/cancel several of their flights for an extended period (June) •Grounding of all flights following industrial action (29th of October) •A380 in-flight engine failure and consequent diversion to Dubai (4th of November)
  20. 20. The Chilean volcanoThe ash cloud from the Chilean volcano caused a huge disruptionaffecting over 120,000 customers and overwhelming traditional customerservice channels. Qantas chose to use Twitter and Facebook asdedicated information + response channels generating someextremely positive feedback:
  21. 21. Safety first for Qantas!Social media was alsoeffectively used to get a strongsafety message out tocustomers, thereby reducingany backlash from cancelledflights. A video was createdand put on YouTube and thenpromoted through Facebookand Twitter. It received greatpositive feedback.Goals DrivenEngagementCustomer serviceCrisis management
  22. 22. 3.5 Million followers… on the wrong flightAfter such an “intense”year we can onlyspeculate on what musthave gone throughQantas’ social mediateam’s minds when theydiscovered that a hugetwitter celebrity, StephenFry, was on board thediverted A380… and thathe was tweeting to his 3.5Million followers!
  23. 23. A well-executed recovery!Thankfully Qantas had a response team listening on twitter and managed toreunite the wallet with his owner, provoking a very positive reaction.Overall the Social media teammanage to:• reduce anger by reacting quicklyand being proactive• get a powerful twitter influenceron their side Goals Driven Engagement Customer service Crisis management
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  25. 25. Case-study 6London Heathrow: “Airport concierge”
  26. 26. Cider anyone?Having a look at an airport’s twitter feed it would be reasonable to expect to seea lot of tweets talking about flight delays, people complaining about queuesetc… but at LHR things seems to be a bit different. yes there are all the usualairport questions but you can also find interactions like this one:
  27. 27. Personalized attention makes people feel importantThe most important lesson we can learn from LHR is how to combine thenecessary degree of information dissemination with a bit of helpful human feel.Especially in a very complex and busy airport like Heathrow providinginformation is a fundamental task, and providing personalized advice alwaysprovoke positive reactions and creates happy users. Goals Driven • Engagement • Customer service
  28. 28. Case-study 7@Deltaassist: “The Pioneer”
  29. 29. Be where your customers want you to be…Delta was one of the firstairlines to dedicate mostresources to social media. Itwas one of the first to put abooking engine on Facebookand (after having tastedtremendous success with@deltaassist on Twitter) nowis also moving its customerservice there. Why? Simple,they have realized thatalthough Twitter is a powerfultool, there was a part of theircustomers that preferredFacebook.
  30. 30. … and give them what they wantDelta also recognized the need to give the customers what they want, and thisled them to the take the following steps: A) Guarantee a reply within 10 min on Twitter, because customers don’t like waiting B) Dedicate 10 people to social media customer service C) Create a Spanish language twitter feed to serve its Spanish- speaking audiences, and (at least occasionally) Portuguese- speaking too
  31. 31. Great response rates!Delta’s followers and This is possible due to aindeed number of tweets dedicated team of aboutthemselves have doubled 10 people handlingin the six months from customer requests.March.March 2011Sep 2011 Source:
  32. 32. Delta gets serious about customer service!Delta Airlines has aseparate, dedicated Twitterchannels to listen and respondto customers.What’s remarkable is the effortput into answering queries fromalmost everyone.Goals DrivenEngagementCustomer serviceRevenue
  33. 33. Case-study 8Warsaw-Chopin Airport: “Preparing for the future”
  34. 34. Preparing for euro 2012…Warsaw Chopin airport is still a relatively new player in the social media arena,but it seems to be improving fast with two dedicated Twitter channels and twoFacebook pages catering to local (Polish) and foreign (English Speaking)passengers respectivelyThe airport has recently stepped up its social efforts, most likely in preparationfor the Euro 2012 games and, in the process, has become one of the first twoairports (together with Cancun) to open a company page on Google +.
  35. 35. … and showing its crisis management prowessRecently this airport also got achance to show its crisismanagement skills on socialmedia, when an LOT 767 did agear up landing that blocked theairport’s only runway for severaldays. The airport respondedpromptly and was able to provideup to date information, both inPolish and English, that werewidely re-tweeted andacknowledged
  36. 36. Overall, a fantastic effort!*Plane “lands”*The airportanswers its users*Plane is removed*Back tonormal*Compliments andthank you notesarrive fromeverywhere Goals Driven Engagement Customer service Crisis management
  37. 37. Case-study 9KLM: “More than just social”
  38. 38. When social media is in your DNA…Given KLM’s prowess onsocial media (they were thewinners of the SimpliFlyingSocial Media Awards thisyear), it’s no surprise thatthey made it to this list too!Their Live Reply video willshow you why they’re sogood at tackling customerservice while engagingcustomers. Check out thenext slide!
  39. 39. Friendly customer service available 24/7If you are a KLM passengerthe company will make itextremely easy for you toget answers to questions.They provide 24x7 customerservice on Twitter ,Facebook and are nowexperimenting with Google+as well.
  40. 40. From virtual to real-life!What really distinguishes them, however, is their ability to go beyond socialmedia and into real life. For example during their Live Reply campaign thecompany started answering tweets with YouTube videos.The result: Surprised passengers weremore than happy to re-tweet andshare the videosFollowers were attracted to bothfacebook and twitterKLM’s campaign was featuredon important websites and TVchannels… and all at almost no cost to the Goals Drivencompany Engagement Customer service
  41. 41. Case-study 10Virgin Atlantic: “Social Snow”
  42. 42. 2010 was a difficult winter for airlines!Three separate, major snowevents in December 2010:“Snow 1” :closing of Gatwick;“Snow 2” : extended closingof Heathrow;“Snow 3”: closing of JFK andthe heavy snow on the USeastern seaboard.They followed in quicksuccession, giving little timefor planning to Virgin (as wellas other airlines).
  43. 43. Virgin’s integrated communication strategyVirgin posted majorupdates on their websiteevery few hours.They also handledindividual queries viaFacebook and Twitter.About 50,000 textmessages sent over aperiod of a few days toalert customers about thedisruption and to directthem to their website orsocial channels for moreinformation.
  44. 44. Huge Twitter customer service effort during disruption!Virgin proactively broadcastedkey messages to their socialfollowing as well as answeringas many individual passengerquestions as possible.This peaked at more than 460tweets, 1,950 comments andposts and almost 1 millionpost views on Facebook up tothe 19th December.The social team worked in 8hour shifts to cover a 24*7,one-on-one response. At itspeak, they were handling aTwitter response every 20-30seconds.
  45. 45. Special chartered flight to repatriate US travellers for Christmas, FREE!Since this decision was takenhurriedly, Twitter and Facebookwere used to inform strandedcustomers of the option.Virgin filled the plane by activelypromoting the flight on Twitter forseveral hours. They achieved TopTweet status resulting in filling450 aircraft seats in 7 hours.The fully-loaded flight left on timeand the customers got back toNew York in time to meet their Goals Drivenfamily and friends for Christmas. EngagementThis was a first for any airline. Customer service
  46. 46. Bonus Case-StudiesSAS & Vueling know the game too!
  47. 47. SAS Scandinavian: “Facebook customer service”
  48. 48. Incredible customer service through Facebook!Key features:• Fast and reliable service.• Most questions answered within 10 minutes.• Key updates provided regularly.• General as well as one-on- one responses provided.• Every customer receives a response!• Resulting in exceptionally happy and pleased customers.
  49. 49. ResultsSAS’s exceptional dedication to customer service through Facebook hasachieved a number of objectives:1. Offering a passengers a near-instant platform to have their questions/ complaints answered.2. Drive greater engagement by keeping customers happy on Facebook and talking to them.3. A large, satisfied passenger base who praise SAS to their Goals Driven friends on Facebook Engagement Customer service
  50. 50. Vueling: “National focus”
  51. 51. Happily lost in translation…Vueling is a Spanish airline based inBarcelona with an heavy presence on theweb, and a thing for mixing languages inits advertising campaigns…It has dedicated news websites, blog,facebook pages and two twitter accounts,a corporate one and a customer serviceone.However, despite being more than happyto mix English and Spanish in itsmarketing material, it has decided to limitits social interaction to Spanish (at leastfor now)
  52. 52. So far so good… but change is neededThe company has managedto build a good image andfollowing at home.However, their Spanish onlystrategy might be starting tobackfire, at least judging fromthe limited, but increasing,number of English languagetweets that are not beinganswered. Goals Driven Engagement Customer service
  53. 53. For more Helping airlines & airports engage travelers profitably