Flying is an exciting experience, but for the avid holidayer, the roaming business person or the emergency traveller, it’s an experience that begins well before the plane takes off.

When planning a trip, it’s important to choose the right airline. A flight can either make your journey or turn the entire thing into a nightmare. Passengers want a hassle free, comfortable time, and for airlines this means providing the best customer service possible, from the moment flights are booked to the moment travellers pass through the arrival gates.

But with all air travel, unexpected issues can arise. From delays, to mechanical issues, to questions about flight bookings and current weather conditions. It’s an immense challenge for anyone to keep up, let alone stay on top of these management concerns.

Local Measure can help ease the pressure by giving you a one stop platform to manage all the social and operational needs of your airline.

Why Focus on Social Media?

Most conversations around airline brands are about their experience with service and the travel plans they intend to undertake. Social media is becoming the most popular outlet for venting about flight experiences (with Twitter being the #1 weapon of choice), and while online inquiries have risen by 44%, customer response times by airlines have not met this increase in demand. While airlines may acknowledge that the main goal of social media should be to promote customer service, many are dragging their feet and not actually taking the measures to do so. In fact, 87% would like to use social media to further develop customer insights, but only half that number are putting it to practise.

Airlines with inactive social media profiles are less likely be regarded with positive sentiment, and those who provide social care are more likely to be recommended by customers. Taking into account that in July 2012, 200 airlines were on Twitter, yet only 90 actively tweeted and only 32 have a dedicated response team for addressing online feedback.

It’s difficult to reach customer support when in transit, so rather than spending time calling an airline support service, passengers find it infinitely easier to reach out via Twitter or other social media handles like Facebook. 80% of customers expect their enquiries to be addressed on the same day, and airlines rated highly by customers would reply within a half hour time frame.

Local Measure can help you leverage social media to ensure all systems are go when it comes to managing the various tasks your airline faces. Here are just a few ways we can help.

Track Operational Issues

Be aware of what’s happening in and around your terminals and lounges. Your passengers are some of the best eyes and ears you have on the ground, and it’s important to be aware of how they’re experiencing your services. By gathering their posts on social media while they’re awaiting their flight with your airline, we can help you keep an eye on the crowds at check-ins, unforeseen delays and issues with bookings.

Photos by passengers during flight delays

Apart from general monitoring, we can also alert you to specific issues by sending you a notification whenever trigger words are mentioned.

‍An example of a funnel you can create for your alerts

You can customise these filters to alert you to other operational issues, such as overcrowding at check ins. In the following terminal, you can see how busy the terminal is:

We can also help you find the feedback you need that isn’t visual. This next passenger expresses their frustration over the lack of staff available at a very busy time of day.

The airline can now consider what time this happened and whether or not they should allocate more staff to similar flight check-ins at similar times.

Respond to customer enquiries and feedback

Many passengers take to the social media pages of airlines to ask questions about their services, as phone conversations and email have become secondary in terms of convenience. A customer points this out in the post below:

Local Measure allows you to link multiple social media accounts, so you can view and reply to posts from the one dashboard. It’s easier, now more than ever, to address customer concerns as they arise.

A staff member can reply to this question, but they can also check if their information page on Frequent Flyer points needs to be updated.

However, not all issues are posed as questions. In the following post, a disgruntled passenger complains about payment processing on the airline’s website.

While the airline is alerted to this issue, it is also obvious that this is a recurring problem, as another passenger has chimed in to agree. The airline can then notify their IT team and other relevant staff to figure out what is going wrong and mitigate further problems.

But it doesn’t have to be all rainclouds and thunderstorms. Local Measure can also help you source positive feedback and engage with customers.

While the customer in the above photo may have missed their flight, they can enjoy the services provided by the airline in the meantime. Staff might take further measures to make these two passengers comfortable, or offer them complimentary food or reading material as they await their next flight. The poster is an influential one, with more than 4000 followers who could potentially see this feedback.

Rich social content

Your customers have the best views from your planes and your airline lounges. Why not put this to good use by letting your passengers advocate your airline for you?

From photos and status updates about the awesome food served in the lounge, to snaps in business class and in the air, you can create a wonderful user experience collage so you can show the world just how good your airline is. Stream this from your website, or even the lounge itself! It’s also a good way to let customers know just what your service can provide.

A collage of images in a Local Measure powered widget

You can also be alerted when a celebrity or high influencer steps into your airline lounge, and share this with the rest of your customers and the world.

Photos of Danii Minogue on her way to the spring races
By keeping track of real time, customer experiences that are shared online, you can turn this information into meaningful experiences offline. Not only will this boost your customer service, but it will also help you manage operations with seamless efficiency so your airline can really take off.