So, I’m writing this post in a bit of pain. I’ve just come back from a four day stag do in Prague – I’m broken. It was an amazing trip, till I had to come home… due to Wizz air’s lack of Social Media Customer service I was left to figure out my way home after cancellations of flights.Let me give you the scenario. Myself and other passengers turned up at the airport to fly back to London. I was early and managed to find out where my gate was via ‘App in the air’. There I was sitting on my own, I was about two hours early. Eventually a lady casually walked up and told me that there are no planes from whizz air and that I would need to leave and go speak to information. After negotiations my way back out of customs I eventually made it to the checkin desks. Only knowing I was going to the right one due to the fact someone I know was on the same flight.
Some guy came out, shouted to us we were being put up in a hotel and would fly out tomorrow at 14:25, maybe.
Eventually we received out hotel vouchers, checked in, watched the England Iceland came whilst eating dodgy food then hit the sack to hopefully get the flight the next day.
Got to the airport on time, checked in, waited. Gate number was still not on the board. Drank 5 cups of coffee. Then there was an announcement the flight is delayed and will only take off at 15:30. Waited. Checked the board at 14:45….still no gate. Sat down for another coffee and then out of the blue ‘Final call for Wizz air at gate B10′ – no warning, nothing. I had to leg it across the airport, go through security and barely make the flight.
SO thats the story, during all of this I tweeted at Wizz air for some updates, checked their app, used a flight tracker – that didn’t display the flight at all’ . It seemed that there was no urgency or thought form the Social Media Customer service team :
All I wanted during this frustrating time was some form of acknowledgement. I gather they can’t give out flight details publicly, but to ignore a customer (plus others that were tweeting) that wanted to get home is bad form. I used to look after Air France and City Jet and I know how important it is to get bums on seats. Especially in a world where users have no loyalty and just go where the cheap seats are. After my experience I will try to avoid Wizz air when searching flight sites. It just seemed they didn’t give a shit.
So with that in mind, If I was running the Social team there. Here’s what I would be doing.
- Ensure your social media consoles are setup to monitor specific scenarios.
Just buy setting up listening posts for common scenarios you can easily find complaining customers, or customers looking for help. In whizz air’s case, setup filters or searches like ‘Wizz air + delayed’, ‘Wizz air + flight cancelled’, ‘Wizz air + no flights’
Then set some up for emotional posts ‘Wizzair + hate’, ‘Wizz air + profanity’, or ‘Whiz air + competitor’.
Having these in place, you can find the users that are freaking out. Set these up in Sprout Social, COnversocial, Hootsuite, Tweet deck or any other console you are using. If it doesn’t have the option, get better software.
- Establish a response time.
There are a number of stats in how long customers expected for you to come back to them. Plus, if they are moaning on Twitter, they are doing it to make a scene and ensure you come back to them.
Most tools will show your average response times. You need to give your social media customer service team a goal to make sure you are responding in a timely fashion. Users will escalate and get angrier as time goes buy. Even if you have no answer to the problem yet, acknowledge the user. Let them know you have their back and are getting to the bottom of it. Think about it, these are people that just want to get home or start their holiday. Let them know you are on the case and will update them as soon as you have more info
- Have your responses ready
This does not mean having some robotic auto responder to customers. Thats even worse than ignoring. ‘Your call is important to us, please hold’ – no, bollocks to that. There are a number of tools that allow you to have responses ready for scenarios. However you should create a number of different ones. Having said that, replying to each individual and making them feel cared for is probably the better option. Do not automate everything. Whenever you have an update, where possible go to each user individually. Mass broadcast is necessary in some instances, but some users need a bit of love.
- Pick your battles
I’ve looked after a number of brands and I know there are some users that just moan for the sake of moaning. You don’t have to respond to everyone. However in Wizz air’s case this is a bunch of people at a specific time wanting to get to their destination. Each one will need attention. Once you have started calming users down, or you managed to get them home and the dust has settled. Go back to all the users that complained and look for the most high reaching ones. This users need to be kept sweet. Email or Direct message them with some sort of apology or gift. (Be careful here as some users may see this and wonder why they weren’t rewarded) – you only do this if one of the users was some sort of influencer and may have effected your online sentiment. Try to get them to re-appreciate you
- Team structure
In some agencies and brands there is usually a content or community management team and a separate customer service team. (this team tends to respond to emails and phone calls) – You need to integrate them. This can easily be achieved by ensuring all team members have access to a social console such as Sprout Social, Conversocial or Sprinklr. Then break your social media customer service into tiers.
– Tier 1 – random user posts, no need for a response.
– Tier 2 – General Complaints, need a response but can be handled by community management team mostly
– Tier 3 – Crises comms. Allocate issue to team for immediate response.
Using the above consoles you can easily allocate complaints as tickets to the applicable team member. Senior members of the social media customer service team can see what needs a response, who needs to respond. In some consoles you can start to tag users. For example “regular complainer”, ‘Influencer’, ‘regular customer’ – this will help set up even more priorities.
- Trigger setups
There are a number of tools, namely conversocial or Falcon that allow you to setup triggers. These triggers can be things like ‘If Wizz is mentioned more than five times in 20 mins email me’ or ‘If Wizz Air and delayed’ is mentioned after 19:00 email me. This will allow you to have a team on standby for social media. Over time you will figure out what you need for triggers. Some offices are not 24 hours, establish a standby team that can respond if the shit starts hitting the fan
- Constant updates with appeasement
This isn’t a must have approach, however. Had I been manager of the social team I would have seen if there is anyway we can have vouchers or deals to give out when needed in partnership with the various airports. Imagine tweeting “To all delayed passengers at Prague airport, click this link to get a voucher for a coffee while you wait’ – simply done. Just a little bit of showing you are on it and heres something to have while you wait for further info. If you cannot go that route, just make sure you are providing constant updates. Just let them know whats happening.
- Give me a call
I’ve been doing this for years, worked with loads of brands from a content and social media strategy point of view. I’ve trained up a number of customer service teams and restructured them for best effect. You may have ignored me on twitter, but I’m happy to help. Email me here : contact
Of course this isn’t only for Wizz air, many brands can take these points and up their game. Thing is its 2016 now, people are savvy. They will kick off on social, they have been for a while now. Brands need to make sure they are kitted out to do it. By setting up tools, processes and response teams within a social media customer service team you can help diminish any fall out or negative sentiment.
It’s now 24 hours since my first Wizz air tweet and they still haven’t responded.