How Does Airline Customer Service Perform on Social Media?
Customer service on Social Media. The ability to proclaim, complain and comment to companies on Facebook, Twitter and other online social platforms. This is an ever-increasing channel to contact businesses about experiences, products and services these days. Flights are getting longer and seats are getting smaller. With the introduction of new flight routes like London to Perth this year, more of us are flying than ever before.
For a company as large as an airline, customer service can be particularly difficult on social media without the necessary resource available. People now spend more time on the internet than ever before. With thousands, heck millions of tweets and messages flooding in every day from customers, how well can you perform as an airline in this remit?
You hear amazing stories of reclaimed lost cameras, tech and laptops from travellers and airlines every day on social media. It is, of course, an uplifting story to read and fantastic PR for the company involved. But how do they really get on with social media as a customer service online?
Airline Customer Service on Social Media Measured: Message Responsiveness Results
In a brand new report by Social Media company Conversocial, we take a look at the airlines that are most willing and helpful at taking customers “baggage” in their stride.
It is comforting to know that Airlines realise the importance of their social media communications with customers. In a World where airline travel safety is paramount, it’s comforting to know service is too. According to marketing consultancy Simplyflying: in 2016, 89% of them identified social media customer service should be a top priority for them. So how have they performed since?
Well, it turns out to be a bit of a mixed bag. The Conversocial report looked into average response times to messages and direct “@” mentions on Twitter. The best performing response time to messages in the US was Alaska Airlines at a meagre 2 minutes and 34 seconds. For Europe, German Airline Lufthansa topped the list at 12 minutes and 45 seconds on average. British Virgin Atlantic was only slightly behind on 14 minutes 11 seconds.
Here’s where the bag mixes. The worst performer? Easyjet. You could do so many things in the goliath 16hr 50 min average response time they have. Spirit Airlines was worst in the US, taking a page-turning, thumb twiddling, Youtube exploring 5 hours and 48 minutes to respond to a direct message.
“@” Mentions on Airline Customer Service Twitter Profiles
What about those “@” mentions? Well, naturally it is simply not possible to respond to 100% of these. Anyone with a Twitter following of over 10,000 and good engagement can appreciate that.
The best responder in America was Southwest Airlines and 38% of their mentions receive a response on average. For Europe, Dutch Flag KLM has the prize with 42% of “@s” responded to. The poorest responders in America and Europe were Spirit (sensing a theme here?) and Turkish Airlines.
What is the benchmark average to measure these results against you ask? American based airlines as a whole take an average of 1 hour and 5 minutes to respond to a message. Europe seems to be a more relaxed pace and atmosphere at the moment, lagging behind slightly. 3 hours and 50 minutes is the benchmark average there, although the gigantic response time from EasyJet most likely skews that significantly!
The Future of Customer Service on Social Media For Airlines
Social was originally used as a PR stunt for the carriers. A great tool to market to pinpointed audiences ready to book cheap flights. As time as gone on people have wised up, using social media to help them in everyday life. It’s important for all businesses to respond to this, providing the best possible service online to customers. For the Airline industry as a whole, there are some positives. But there certainly much more ground to be covered.
As instant messaging grows in functionality & popularity, expect further talk and work in this area next on platforms like Messenger and WhatsApp. Who knows, maybe there’ll be a report on instant messaging airline responses next year?
Have you have any thought provoking, unforgettable customer service experiences with Airlines? Leave a comment below!