Social Media is a really important tool for businesses, including all of the tourism industry businesses. It can help you ameliorate your customer service. More and more you hear stories about Twitter and Airlines (train, bus, etc.), where people who had problems tweeted about it and got answers right away. These companies are really dedicated to social media; they don’t just scan to see what people are talking about and what is being said about them. They actually do much more, they respond and act.
Michael’s story with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines: Because of a snowstorm in Amsterdam Michael’s flight was grounded for more than two hours, they finally left and after a few attempts the pilot was able to land his plane in Amsterdam. Now these situations happen, it’s the weather. But after queuing at a service desk for more than an hour he was told that he would not be able to get his bags. Frustrated, he @ KLM in a Tweet saying how mad he was that after all of those delays and a big race coming he didn’t get his bags. Within an hour he received a response to his tweet: the person who responded said that he would personally look into this issue, and during the night Michael got another tweet informing him that his bags would be waiting for him with a place and time for pick-up the very next day.
This is a perfect example of how a company can use Social Media to satisfy a customer who was having a bad experience. Without them being on Twitter, Michael’s tweet could’ve influenced many others not to travel with this company. Now Michael is happy because he knows that they are reliable, in fact Michael booked his next flight to Chicago with them because he knows that if something happens they will take care of him.
Being present and active on social media can help your company save its face and be more proactive to unsatisfied customers complaints. Michael made another important point when he was telling me the story: for Airlines it is really important to be on social media. Customers are on social Media and they will talk about you when they have a bad experience, so they have to be able to respond to it in order to create a link with their customers, and because, let’s face it, you have a lot of choice when it comes to airlines and if customers read about bad experiences of other travellers it can steer them away from your company.
Not only do airlines have a phone line but they also have a social media center that takes care of scanning and responding efficiently to customers. I also think that today you’ll get much better service if you tweet about your experience than if you call the helpline. In this case, KLM showed how Twitter can be used to create a link with and satisfy a customer. This utlimatly affects your brand and the way people perceive you.