How Airlines are using your Social Media Data

Airlines have always kept track of customers’ likes and dislikes on infiight preferences, such as whether you prefer the  front or back of the plane and an aisle or window seat. In this modern era of technology, however, airlines can also monitor your actions and preferences via social media and use this data to improve your inflight experience.

Australian startup Local Measure (LINK) has developed technology that allows corporations to search social media status updates by GPS coordinates (rather than keywords). Jo Boundy, the head of digital communications at Qantas, who recently implemented this technology, said: “It allows us to pinpoint customer feedback to a specific location. If someone raises an issue, it gives our lounge staff the ability to step in and resolve the problem.”

This technology can be beneficial when the lines are long, printers don’t work or even to anticipate a customer’s needs. The technology also improves the rate at which Qantas can address customers’ issues that arise.

Jonathan Barouch, chief executive at Local Measure said: “It helps our clients better understand what people are thinking about their experience.” For example, a customer recently tweeted a picture of cereals on offer at the Qantas first-class lounge and noted that his favorite was absent. The next time he visited the lounge, the cereal was there. “Qantas knew how to surprise and delight the consumer. It’s all little things but they do add up,” he says.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines employs 130 people to manage the airline’s social media platforms and address customer service issues. They even enable customers to see an estimated service response time by swapping the background on their Twitter account. “We decided to put our money where our mouth is and show our real-time performance,” says Martijn van der Zee, Senior Vice President of e-Commerce for Air France-KLM.

In order to increase their social media interactions – they receive approximately 30,00 per week – they created a service that allows non-passengers to buy upgrades and gifts for friends or family who are traveling on the airline. der Zee states,:“That’s a lot of input and it’s motivated us to keep pushing the envelope.”

Do you think that real-time social media customer service support and response will improve travelers’ experiences? Would you ever use social media to raise an issue with an airline?



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