5 Tips for Using Social Media for Customer Service

Etihad 777 flight

It started off as a fairly ordinary day.

On Wednesday, three of my colleagues and I were waiting at the Richmond International Airport to board our 8:45 a.m., non-stop Delta Airlines flight from Richmond, Va. to Minneapolis, Minn.

The flight was delayed.

Around 10:30 a.m., we received word that our flight would be leaving around 11:30 a.m. – maybe. We were told that the delay was mechanical, and the Richmond mechanics couldn’t do anything until they consulted with the plane’s manufacturer, Bombardier, in Canada. Bombardier wasn’t returning calls.

So we waited. And waited. And waited.

With time on my hands, I decided to test the responsiveness of Delta’s social media team. I had no expectations that Delta would be able to resolve our flight delay via Twitter, but I was curious to see how Delta would respond.

At 10:45 a.m., I tweeted:

Tweet 1 v2




Minutes later, I received the following tweet back from RB at @DeltaAssist:

Delta Tweet2




As the morning turned into afternoon, our 8:45 a.m. flight continued to be delayed, and I continued a direct message Twitter conversation with RB. All the while, he was apologetic and provided as much information as possible. Eventually, our 8:45 a.m. flight left at 1:30 p.m.

In the end, Delta offered me a $75 flight voucher for my inconvenience, making a bad situation a little bit better.

Based on my interaction with @DeltaAssist and industry best practices, here are five tips for using social media for customer service:

Air travel isn’t always easy. And unfortunately, excessive flight delays now come with the territory . While nothing can replace my lost time at the airport, I appreciate Delta’s social media responsiveness. Well done RB and @DeltaAssist. Well done.

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