How can Airlines Find Customers with Social Media

The End of Traditional Customer Service Model
frustrated-woman-standing-in-airport_ssThere are thousands of flights every day, transporting millions of passengers all over the world. In the midst of all this traffic, there is one experience and emotional experience that everyone has faced so far: confusion.

We all know traveling can be a confusing experience, and it’s easy to become frustrated in an unfamiliar environment. Unexpected delays, locating the correct gate, and lost or missing baggage can lead to the rise in the level of frustration, anger, and hopelessness among flyers. Prior to the age of social media, customers would reach out to customer service representatives to ask for directions, information or other miscellaneous concerns. Through the efforts of the customer service representative, customer concerns were examined, logged, and transferred to the airline and airport headquarters for evaluation. Customers were patient, given their only option was to wait “on hold” with customer service on the phone in order to receive their information.

At present, customers use their smartphones to guide them around the airport, or find more information relevant to their upcoming flight. The customer feedback that once shaped and helped improve Airline and Airport marketing decisions is slowly fading as customers are utilizing social media, apps and web-interfaces to look for answers. In addition, suggestion and complaint box are deemed useless. Instead, customers publicize their frustration and disappointment online – channeling their concerns for their network to see with the hope of finding solace from someone from the Airline. The speed of feedback from traditional customer mitigation methods are lengthy, and customers expect immediate answers for their problems from the Airline and Airport representatives.

Soaring with Social Media

Companies with closed loop feedback gain substantiallymore ROI from their customer experience management programs than their competitors.

Today, with social media, Airlines are able to close the feedback loop with customers. Social media gives Airlines the ability to strengthen the level of their relationship with customers – enabling dialogue and establishing trust – unlike traditional customer feedback programs that tend to end the conversation, or in some cases they prevent it from starting at all. Companies with closed loop feedback gain substantially more ROI from their customer experience management programs than their competitors. This occurs in the form of enhanced customer loyalty and experience, greater employee productivity, and solid financial return.

With the latest social media technology platforms online, Airlines are given the capacity to close those loops with their current, and potential, customers all over the world and at all the airports they operate from. Through geofencing technology, Airlines can identify and respond to their customers effectively and efficiently. Enterprise-designed features of few geo-monitoring platforms, such as WeLink, assist Airlines target their customers, and gain greater insights of the trends and needs of potential customers at areas of interest – such as airports.

Maximizing Customer Satisfaction with Social Media

Airplane movie clip of smoking vs. non-smoking cabine

Communication is key to customer satisfaction

The key to maximizing customer satisfaction in the airline industry is to respond to their every need immediately and effectively. Social media has become a valuable tool to gain insight into the customer’s air travel experience. Fortunately the airline industry has taken note of the power of social media as a customer service tool. Airlines are now using social media to respond to customer inquiries, to remedy customer complaints, and also to provide compliments to satisfied customers.

However, with the abundance of noise and social chatter in the social network, it has become a challenging task for airline companies to target the customers that are in the greatest need of their services and response. Hashtag and keyword search can do so much; however, it is not sufficient to filter through the clutter of social activity by users exact locations around the world.

Through geo-monitoring social engagement platform, such as  WeLink, provides Airlines with the capacity to target customers wherever they are in the world through the state-of-the-art geofencing technology. For example, with WeLink, clients can utilize location and keyword search to assist clients to reach their customers effectively, and provide the medium to respond to them immediately.

Come fly with me…

A solid social media strategy that revolves around resolution of customer queries is among the key successful methods to retaining customers. However, other strategies can be implemented that can help generate larger foot traffic and encourage travel among passengers and customers. For example, opportunities to volunteer seats, airport treasure hunts to explore new facilities and amenities in the airport, or simply a marketing campaign targeting social media users in the regions around the airport to travel through offers and coupons.

Case Study – Marketing the Lounge

Virgin Atlantic JFK Clubhouse

In order to increase the number of members in their Frequent Flyer Program, AirWorld decided to create a hyperlocal social media campaign that targets airpots with the largest influx and outflow of business travelers. AirWorld decided to monitor the social media feeds at Chicago Airport (ORD), San Francisco Airport (SFO), and San Jose Airport (SJC). Within these airports, AirWorld hosts guests and travelers in their exclusive lounge that provides services including: spa, massage, and buffet of fresh food.

With their target audience defined (business travelers), AirWorld creates an alert system using WeLink, the hyperlocal social media engagement platform. The alert system will notify AirWorld of users with specific business titles that tweet or Instagram at the said airports. Such a system will simplify AirWorld’s operations as it can distinguish between normal users and business users, in addition, only focus their campaign within specific airports.

Through coupons, AirWorld invites the business users to partake in their newly designed lounge, and encourage them to sign up in their exclusive Frequent Flyer program. With the presence of social media analytics provided by WeLink, which can be integrated to AirWorld’s Business Intelligence platform, AirWorld executives will see the effect and influence of social media campaigns on number of sign ups for their Frequent Flyer program, and measure the Return of Investment of their social media campaign.

It’s simple as ABC…

Contact WeLink to learn more on how you can enable monitors today and close the loop with your airline customers!



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