In today’s fast-paced world we want answers quickly, and social media has provided more points of contact between airlines and their passengers than ever before. Today’s consumers have high expectations and anticipate fast, full service resolution when reaching out to brands on social media. In fact, research by Gartner found that failure to respond to customer service requests via social channels can lead to a 15% increase in the churn rate for existing customers.
Airlines are no exception, and they must incorporate social media support into their contact centers as a full service resolution channel. When customer support is executed effectively on social channels, it results in effortless service engagements, increased guest happiness and inspires lifelong flyers. Ultimately, the decision to provide social service is one that every airline will have to make. What happens once that decision is made is what separates first-class teams from the rest.
“When we arrive at a destination, it’s the same destination that all others fly to. So what’s the difference? It’s the people and that care element they provide that makes us stand out from the competition.”
Determining Your Social Customer Service Strategy: Service Hours
Your social customer service hours should reflect those of your other support channels. For most airlines like Delta, Emirates, JetBlue and WestJet, this is 24/7, but if you’re managing a team at a small, regional airline, you may be able to provide extended service coverage until you have enough staff to provide round the clock care. Take it from Aeroméxico, who offers extended hour coverage seven days a week.
The best rule of thumb is to provide social guest care as long as there is a plane in the air. Clearly display your service hours on your social profiles, which is easy to do with Twitter’s new customer service features! If your airline has a support handle in addition to a brand handle, indicate which provides support so your guests can easily find your customer service team. Delta Air Lines has done a great job of letting their passengers know where to find them. Your airline will see social care engagements take off once you begin directing guests to your social care profiles via your website, within your mobile application and on in-flight seatback resources.
Once you’ve got your customer service hours set up, you’re ready to start strategizing around diffusing issues on social, creating an IROPS plan for social and taking customer loyalty to new heights. For more tips and best practices managing your airline’s social customer service, download The Airline Executive’s Playbook for Successful Social Care or get in touch with an airline customer service expert at Sparkcentral for a social care evaluation to learn how you can improve your current strategy today.