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Author: Sonam Singh | 06/17/16

Social Media Analytics in Airlines

Social Media presence for airlines and its resulting impact has accelerated in the past decade. Not only has it empowered passengers to share their opinion, both good and bad, it also plays a huge role in building and maintaining an airline’s brand reputation. Passengers are quite used to going through the prolonged traditional customer service process. However increasingly they are venting their angst as well as voicing their delight on various social media platforms and expect to be heard and acknowledged quickly.

A significant number of the customer service requests are now being created from social media data and the entire customer relationship management process is being automated to enhance the resolution time using Social CRMs. The hikes in the mentions are monitored and the negative remarks by passengers are immediately looked into and resolved in real time by the airlines. American Airlines, for instance, has the shortest response time.

It is getting extremely challenging for airlines to differentiate themselves from their competitors and make sure the passenger expectations are met. Especially in the case of social media, the perception of fast response times is of tremendous value. Imagine a situation when a loyal customer tweets negatively about an airline and the airline is ill-equipped to contain the damage. The resulting impact is multifold and as the saying goes, “The Internet never forgets”. To avoid situations like these, airlines make use of various social media monitoring tools to understand and serve their passengers better.

While airlines use social media monitoring tools to monitor social , it is important to understand the context (and the sentiment) of the conversations, to know what people are talking about, where the conversations are taking place and who are the people behind the “noise”. This feedback helps airlines in streamlining their strategies with agility.

The social CRMs and monitoring tools are doing a fantastic job in identifying the influencers, analyzing the sentiments, gauging competition, monitoring campaigns, engaging with customers in real time and providing actionable insights to the airlines. However, the analysis requires an interpreter/analyst. There is a need for tools which can classify the data into various business facets, understand the reason behind sentiments, detect patterns in passenger behavior and generate intelligent recommendations/next best actions. These recommendations should then be integrated into the CRM for records. Some of the requests that relate to routine queries/concerns can be resolved faster through automated response with pre decided answers. This will empower customer service agents in servicing a request faster; thereby enhancing the resolution time, increasing the productivity of contact centers and improving customer satisfaction.

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