19 500 flights had to be cancelled and 2 million travelers were affected due to hurricane Sandy. Did airlines handle their social customer care or did they get hit by turbulence?
A few days ago, we reported how Delta, United, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, Lufthansa, JetBlue Airways and US Airways reacted to hurricane Sandy across Facebook and Twitter. Now we’ll see how they handled the situation in terms of social customer care and if they managed to respond to most of the queries regarding affected flight schedules. We decided to gather data from October 20th – 24th and from the 27th – 31st (the most dramatic five days in the east coast) to determine the volume increase in posts/tweets addressed to the aforementioned airlines. How many questions did they receive and how many did they respond to? Airlines became the most Socially Devoted industry for Q3 but can they also be devoted to their customers and fans during hard times when they’re most needed?
As you can see in the table below, JetBlue Airways noticed the biggest increase in post volume on Facebook (283%) but they did an outsanding job by responding to 65% of them. That’s the minimum rate needed to qualify as a Socially Devoted brand, but its the best result from the table – which makes JetBlue Airways the most responsive airline on Facebook. It faced an even bigger increase in tweet volume (351% more tweets than they received a week before), but their customer care proved to be weaker on this platform, with a 55% Response Rate.
US Airways were the first airline to post about the hurricane on its Facebook page and they also had to deal with a big post increase (156%) during October 27th – 31st when hurricane Sandy impacted the East coast. But unlike other airlines, US Airways decided to ignore their customers and fans and didn’t respond to any of their posts. And they didn’t do much better on Twitter where they faced a 266% post increase and reached only a 37% Response Rate.
Twitter was much busier than Facebook due to the live and dynamic nature of the social platform. American Airlines embraced this benefit and managed to respond to 76% of the 1986 tweets landing on their account. That’s a great result and serves as evidence that a brand can be Socially Devoted even in tough times for the industry.
United and Southwest Airways delivered poor customer care across both social networks, but it’s Delta’s 0% Response Rate on Twitter that surprises us most. But after investigating further, we found out that Delta has a separate @DeltaAssist Twitter handle for 24/7 customer care and updates.
What is your experience? Did you have to deal with the airlines in the past few days? Did they respond to your posts or tweets? Let us know in the comments below…
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