Most transport providers use social media in some capacity, but a great deal of them still struggle to realise the full potential of their channels. Traditionally the responsibility of managing social channels sat securely within Marketing Departments, however as customer service trends have developed it’s become a shared responsibility – and the story doesn’t end there.
Social media is more than just somewhere to deal with complaints, encourage ticket sales and raise brand awareness. It’s a place where you can create an active community of happy brand advocates that sing the praises about your service and amplify your voice. But that’s not all, social media also has the potential to help your brand identify valuable insights into weaknesses, strengths and opportunities of your business.
With thousands of commuters, holidaymakers and day-to-day travellers needing to ask questions and leave feedback whilst they are on-the-move, social customer service gives them the ability to communicate in real-time from anywhere in the world with a simple click of their smart phone. As mobile access to the internet has overtaken desktop usage this is essential when building a strong customer service offering.
Here are some of the reasons why leading transport providers are investing attention into building a robust customer service operation on social media;
Real-time Problem Solving
Your customers are constantly on-the-move and they need their problems resolving quickly – not several days after the incident. For example, if your customer is a single mother adapting their travel plans due to a delayed flight, it’s essential that they have an outlet to reach you both simply and instantly. If you don’t offer fast social customer service, your passengers will have to communicate via your call centre, which would undoubtedly add extra stress to their already stressful situation. By offering this service you can also channel-shift away from your call centre and reduce your average cost-to-serve. If you’d like to get an estimate on potential cost savings try out our channel-shift calculator.
A network of happy travellers
Building trust in your organisation is essential. If your passengers are going to trust your brand to get them to an important meeting or to their dream holiday, they need to know that you will not fail to get them to their destination safely and comfortably. To build this trust you need to show them how satisfied your current customers are. One easy way to do this is by delivering communications that explore the real-life stories behind your passengers’ experiences. Has your bus driver found a lost teddy? Post it on social media – show everyone that you are more than just a business, you are an organisation that genuinely cares for passengers’ happiness. Cork Airline did just the thing when little Teddy was left on a flight. The story went viral and the airline even uploaded pictures of the little teddy having fun in the airport – showing their brand’s human side.
Keep them informed and moving
Delays and cancelled flights are bound to happen from time-to-time. You can’t control the weather and your customers understand this – regardless of how inconvenient it is for them. What they really hate is being caught unaware. One way that you can soften the blow to their schedule is by being proactive and making it your priority to let them know the details of the delay. If the weather is forecast to be problematic, communicate with your following via social media to give them a heads-up in advance. Report on delays and diversions to help them be prepared. As social media is real-time, it can be the perfect place to issue an up-to-date service notification for your passengers.
Create a human presence
People don’t like building relationships with robots. It can be hard for transport organisations to really come across as personable. It’s harder to gain trust in your brand if your outgoing communications are cold and inhuman. In order to inspire loyalty you need to break the mould and make your customers like you. By being more human on social channels you can build authentic, long-lasting relationships that build a community of brand advocates. Make jokes, be friendly and be human to create a presence people want to engage with.
Monitor brand perception
Keeping a close eye on how travellers perceive your brand helps you ensure that your organisations’ offering is right for the customers. By monitoring the chatter around your brand using social listening, you can see patterns and learn where your customers are noticing issues with your service. Are they struggling to find train times? Are your schedules clear enough? Do you have the timetable clearly accessible on your website for mobile devices? By analysing brand mentions, incoming queries and regularly occurring issues, you can identify areas of your business that need to be improved in order to maintain a happy network and remain ahead of the competition.
Building a strong social presence and creating powerful customer experiences are key to building more loyalty, increasing sales and creating happier customers. By harnessing this channel your customers will be better informed and are more likely to publicly promote your brand. Your managers will also have a better understanding of your customers needs and wants, and your business can save money by delivering an informed and effective customer service. Social media insights then highlight areas where you can continually improve – ensuring your customer stay informed, on the move and arrive with a positive experience of travelling with you.
About the Writer:
Luke Shaw is a Business Development Consultant at SocialSignIn, he specialises in Automotive, Aviation, Gaming and Transport – helping these businesses engage better with their target audiences and build a strong social strategy around growth and customer service. Some of his clients include Mercedes Benz and Birmingham Airport. He is passionate about giving companies the best platform and knowledge to achieve their social goals. Outside of work Luke is a very avid gamer, loves cars and is a big football fan.
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