Several prominent brands within the airline industry have been hit by social media criticisms in the past month, underlining why the rise of digital communications has made effective service more crucial than ever.
In the first week of September, iconic air travel brand British Airways made the headlines after disgruntled customer Hassan Syed paid to post a promoted tweet reading, “Don’t fly British Airways. Their customer service is horrendous.” This is believed to be the first example of an individual using Twitter’s paid service to complain about a brand, but given the media attention gained by the stunt, is unlikely to be the last.
A few weeks later, it was Ryanair’s turn to acknowledge the importance of consumer sentiment on social media, after news spread on Twitter that the brand had come bottom in Which? magazine’s customer service ratings for the UK’s 100 biggest brands. This coincided with a fall in forecast profits for the year, causing Chief Executive Michael O’Leary to promise to reverse the decision against providing social media customer service and set up an official Twitter handle.
Finally, EasyJet became the subject of the latest Twitter storm this week, after a passenger was refused entry onto his flight for posting a negative story about the brand’s service on the social network. Journalist and PhD law student Mark Leiser received 481 retweets after recounting the airline’s conduct on Twitter, prompting EasyJet to post an official response stating that no passengers would be denied boarding on account of Twitter activity.
As each of these cases illustrates, social media has empowered today’s consumers to speak out against businesses which don’t provide an adequate level of customer service, and the message can quickly spread. In order to avoid this unwanted attention, businesses must not only provide services that meet the customer’s expectations, but also ensure they are present on social media to deal with complaints if issues do arise.
Contact numero for more information on the part social media has to play within a brand’s customer interaction management strategy.