The world knows well how successful Southwest Airlines is. Terminals like Chicago Midway International airport witness long queues of people in front of their Southwest Airlines ticket counter. One of the many reasons why this brand is so successful is its sound customer service. They also keep an eye on social media at all times. This is what makes Southwest Airlines a great pick as the best social listening example.
Southwest Airlines – Setting the Standards for Social Listening
Like any other successful brand, Southwest Airlines too gets mentions from over 2000 people per day on social media. These mentions range from praise to travel queries to all kinds of complaints. Southwest Airlines believes in the power of social media and has taken steps to leverage it to their benefit. A social customer care representative from the airlines – Daniel Nix said “Social media customer service is the future and so people expect through social media wherever they are.”
An incident proves how well Southwest Airlines is prepared to handle crisis moments, thanks to its active social listening routine. Recently a traveler from Chicago Midway International airport tweeted about his poor travel experience with Southwest Airlines. This single Tweet started a chain reaction 923 miles away in Dallas. This is where Adam Scott,a representative of the airlines’ social care team took note of the complaint and initiated action.
The team got to resolve the matter the moment the problem was spotted. Adam showed the Tweet to a ground operations representative at Dallas. This rep got in touch with the station manager at Midway. The manager identified the glitches and miscommunication about break schedules. More agents were sent to the ticket counter to handle the situation. Meanwhile, Scott tweeted back to the customer “Hey, thanks for the catch, we’re going to get some people out there right away.” The customer replied back with an appreciation saying “I just saw a couple of people come up to the desk. The line is starting to move, appreciate you doing that.”
The manager found the tweeter in the line, shook his hands, and thanked him for letting the airline know about the glitches. All of this happened and was taken care of within 7 minutes!
How does the Airline do it?
This is what excellent customer service looks like. The airline did not have to push out review forms nor did they go for focus group discussions. All it took was monitoring social media platforms and responding to real-time feedback. Social media listening is the new power tool for every marketer and manager out there.
But Social media isn’t a small thing. Data keeps flowing in. How is this brand filtering through all the mentions and taking such swift action? They are ‘equipped’ with the right tool – social listening. Southwest Airlines’ social business manager, Ashley Mainz says “The great thing about our social team is that we are equipped to really help customers with every step of the travel process.”
The company has a glass-enclosed room called The Listening Center. This is the heart of their operation. The walls of the room are flooded with monitors. These bring in real-time alerts from social media conversations. The tool displays a green smiley for every positive comment displayed and a sad red face for a negative comment. And every time a negative comment shows up, the social media team jumps into action.
Social media listening is a key part of Southwest Airlines’ marketing efforts. They have expanded the social media team since January of 2016. The team now works round the clock to keep an eye on the brand’s online reputation.
And if this isn’t the perfect social listening example, we don’t know what is!