High-Flying Communication

Long after the frustration of a delayed flight and lost baggage, we rarely forget negative experiences, all too eager to share them with others. So what can airlines do to monitor and spin less-than-favorable sentiments to their advantage?

Some are using platforms like Radian6 to engage in online communication and measure the feelings and perceptions surrounding their brand. Whether to better understand consumer behavior or develop a more relationship-orientated strategy, top brands acknowledge and embrace the influence consumers have over prospective publics.

Case in point: an airline that suffered an explosively public blow to its ego from a passenger’s Twitter uproar channeled the setback into an opportunity to build a mutually beneficial social media presence. Southwest Airlines has become a leader in listening and providing solutions to customer dissatisfaction while taking positive interactions to the next level. A corporate policy dedicated to how employees respond to customer inquiries online resulted in exponential growth to its Twitter and Facebook followings, 12 million monthly visits to its Website, and over 29,000 travel guide reviews.

Tried and true, you can’t make everyone happy. Rather than being afraid of what unsatisfied customers might post to your Facebook page, counter negativity with incentivized communication, enticing audiences to think twice before abandoning your brand. I recently joined Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program for several benefits, all of which were targeted to me with the right message in the right place at the right time.

Customers want to be heard, respected, and valued. By giving them a voice in public forums, you have the ability to establish trust and transform jaded buyers into brand ambassadors by simply facilitating two-way communication.

-Stephanie C.

(Photos courtesy of facebook.com/Southwest)


This entry was posted in General thoughts, Tools and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to High-Flying Communication

  1. Kristel says:

    Stephanie, great post! Maybe it is just because of my recent experiences with airlines (other than Southwest, and more than just one), but I think that they don’t really care about the customer satisfaction. The airlines might have designated personnel addressing the social media coverage, but will it really change the way they treat you at the gate? Unfortunately the “gate team” has a different mission :-(
    Two thumbs up for Southwest Airline though!