Subscribe Now

travelers today

Home » Leisure

Social Media Revolutionizes Communication and Customer Service

Travelers Today       By    Karen Fredrickson

Updated: Jun 27, 2013 12:24 PM EDT

Text Size: A A A

Makeshift Toilet Paper
A photograph of the makeshift toilet paper photographed by a passenger and posted online.(Photo : FlyTalk)

The Internet and social media have changed the way people complain about service and receive responses from companies over problems, something United Airlines recently experienced firsthand, according to CNN. Prior to social media, customers had to write a letter to complain, and companies had more control over the process.

Now, customers can just tweet about their experience right as it's happening. They can include pictures and video. Many then expect the companies to respond within minutes.

Share This Story

This was evident in the recent incident on board a United Airlines flight that ran out of toilet paper. Passengers on the flight immediately posted about their experience.

"Apparently, they ran out in one [lavaratory] half-way home and couldn't bother to transfer a roll from another," a passenger posted on FlyerTalk, a popular online message forum. The poster included a photograph of the napkins in a makeshift container labeled "toilet paper," in the lavatory.

The thread has resulted in 10 pages of comments about United Airlines customer service and business practices.

The result of this new way of complaining is forcing companies to rethink they way they provide customer service. Airlines, cruise lines and hotels are hiring social media teams to establish an online presence that can quickly respond to online complaints and comments, serving essentially as damage control for their public relations at the same time they are addressing customers problems.

"If someone tweets that they're at an [airport] gate in Chicago and not getting a lot of information about their flight, we will let them know the status of the flight," Morgan Johnston, JetBlue's corporate communications manager and social media strategist, told CNN. The company has a team of about 30 employees dedicated to responding to people online. "If one person's tweeting, there's probably another 149 people who have the same concerns."

This method of customer service has time constraints, which can make it difficult for employees to determine the facts about a situation, but they do their best.

"If there's a direct question, we try to respond within 15 minutes, and more often, it's under five minutes," Johnston said. "This is real-time media.

"If I'm a customer, I can get out four tweets in five minutes," Johnston continued. "If you're not part of the conversation, you don't have any ability to change the direction of it."

Companies are aware of the potential audience that can see a negative comment and the impact it can have on a company's reputation, so they are trying to get ahead of the complaints, making the customers happy and preventing a dent in their corporate reputation simultaneously.

"The emergence of digital media has put a special emphasis on customer service," Josiah Mackenzie, the director of business development at ReviewPro, said. "It's all about service, keeping our guests delighted.

"It's not a complex subject," he continued. "It's just the way people communicate is different."

United Airlines responded to the toilet paper incident in a company statement after seeing the post of FlyerTalk.

"We apologize to our customers on this flight for the inconvenience and would like the opportunity to welcome them back," the company said.

© 2014 Traverlers Today, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Featured Video : Greenwich
Join Our Conversation
Don't Miss..
JEFFREYSDAVIS_ANIM
News CALIFORNIA'S GRAY WOLF IS STILL A LONER

California's Grey Wolf Is Still A Loner: Should It Or Should It Not Be Protected By The State?

California’s gray wolf is still a loner, and the state is still unsure if it is to be protected. As sad as this story may seem, it is unfortunately true for the lone gray wolf in California. California’s gray wolf is still a loner as far as anyone can tell as nobody yet has seen it to be roaming the state with a companion.

Leisure Umami Burger

Umami Burger [PHOTOS]: Craved By Mila Kunis In Burbank. What Is In This Burger That Makes Even Stars Crave For Its Taste?

Umami Burger with Ashton Kutcher, that’s what Mila Kunis had in her agenda on April 12, Saturday night while in one of her pregnancy cravings. The newly-pregnant actress craved for the Umami Burger and she and fiancé Ashton Kutcher stopped for the famous Umami Burger in Burbank during for a quick date night meal.

News Mount Everest

Mount Everest Deaths: Avalanche Kills 9 People, While 3 Are Injured And 9 Still Missing. What Happened?

Mount Everest deaths from the avalanche Friday, April 18 reached 9 people already. Meanwhile, those who survived the avalanche and weren’t included in the Mount Everest deaths are a seriously injured 3 and 9 people missing.

News Auburn University

Auburn University Bomb Threat Update: "Threatening Message" Sparks Chaos In A University In Alabama

Auburn University bomb threat in Alabama had school officials cancelling classes on Wednesday. Police told FoxNews that an unsubstantiated threat was found and the school had to cancel all classes over the Auburn University bomb threat rampage.

News bees

Allegiant Air Flight Forced to Turn Back to Las Vegas After Hitting Swarm of Bees

An Allegiant Air flight from Las Vegas to Duluth, Minn., was forced to turn back to Sin City because it hit a swarm of bees, which caused a terrible smell to fill the plane.

Travel Tips An Alitalia plane approaches to land at Fiumicino International Airport in Rome September 25, 2008.

Memorial Day Weekend 2014: The Best Days to Fly During Holiday Weekend

Memorial Day will be here before you know it and that means it's time to start planning your trips for the holiday weekend and Travelocity is helping travelers make plans that could save them money.

News Allegiant Airlines

Allegiant Air Offers Giant Seats at 25 Inches Wide on Select Flights to Hawaii and the Western U.S.

Allegiant Air is now offering "Giant Seats" on select flights. The airline has added extra large seats to some economy rows on Boeing 757 planes that make long-haul flight to the Hawaiian cities of Honolulu and Maui and some cities in the western U.S.

News Boston Marathon

Boston Marathon Qualifying Times: How To Get Into The 2014 Boston Marathon And What Happens Now With Stricter Security

Boston Marathon Qualifying Times has just been posted on their website, though these may still be subject to change. With the Boston Marathon bombing incident last year, stricter security is enforced and most probably stricter enforcement of the Boston Marathon Qualifying Times.

Travel Tips John W. Schulze

Travel Airfare: Top 5 Tips On Searching The Best Airfare For Your Vacation

Travel airfare, despite hundreds of promos available, isn’t all they’re cracked up to be. On the one hand, some routes are still higher than they were in previous years, and some even keep getting higher. What’s different now is that more people can afford travel airfare and more and more are realizing the benefits of traveling in their lives.

ADVERTISEMENT

Travel Tips

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest travel news, reviews, and more..

Want more Travel?

Most Popular

PHILLIP WOOD FLIGHT 370 HIJACKING CONSPIRACY: ARISES AMIDST MISSING MALAYSIA AIRLINES PLANE SEARCH. IS THE THEORY TRUE?

Phllip Wood Flight 370 Hijacking Conspiracy: Arises Amidst Missing Malaysia Airlines Plane Search. Is The Theory True?

Phillip Wood Flight 370 hijacking conspiracy started spreading on the Internet this week. The US says the Phillip Wood Flight 370 hijacking conspiracy theories are completely ‘baseless’ despite some people believing it to be true.

An Alitalia plane approaches to land at Fiumicino International Airport in Rome September 25, 2008.

Memorial Day Weekend 2014: Travelocity Announces The Best Days to Fly During Holiday Weekend

Memorial Day will be here before you know it and that means it's time to start planning your trips for the holiday weekend and Travelocity is helping travelers make plans that could save them money.

20 Secrets You Don’t Know About Flying Confessed by Pilots and Flight Attendants

Travel Tips: 20 Secrets You Don’t Know About Flying Confessed by Pilots and Flight Attendants

Travel tips actually confessed by employees of airlines can be hard to come by these days. Below are some of the secrets of pilots, flight attendants, and engineers when it comes to flying.

MERS Virus

MERS Virus Update: Number Of Deaths Rise in Saudi Arabia, Arm Yourself With These Facts

MERS Virus update leaves the public with the knowledge that the victims of the virus are rising since it killed a man in Saudi Arabia. There has been no official confirmation as to the exact origin of the virus, but reports on the MERS Virus update say that its origins may be linked to camels.

Swim With Adorable Pigs In Big Major Cay Island

Travel Bahamas Pig Beach Swim with Adorable Pigs in Big Major Cay Island

Travel Bahamas Pig Beach and get the best experience swimming with adorable pigs. This thought might be unheard of as a travel experience. Nowadays swimming with stingrays, dolphins, whales and even sharks is getting to be popular, but wild pigs? Well, travel Bahamas Pig Beach and you’ll enjoy swimming with the wild pigs as they roam free.

Youths fight with pillows during a flash mob in a park in central Kiev July 31, 2013. Some 100 people participated in a social media flash mob called "Pillow Fight". REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

Staycation Summer - How to have Holiday Fun for a Very Small Sum

If you're finding the economy's let you down substantially this year, and you can't afford to go on vacation, take heart that you're not the only one. In my 'Staycation' articles, I'll be helping you find cheap and free ways to have fun this summer.

Galicia, Spain

Top 3 Backpacking Destinations to Escape to in 2014

Nothing’s better than welcoming 2014 in a foreign place. A traveler is welcomed with incomparable diversity, fresh faces and possible even a new beginning to start the New Year right.

Find Us on Facebook

travelers today

© Copyright 2014 Travelers Today All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter