Kristie Van Auken, Marketing Director of the Akron Canton Regional Airport (U.S.A) tells how they use Social Media to engage customers. It’s one of their strategies to create a connection to their customers and to improve their services. They were the first to have a corporate blog, first in the US on Facebook and one of the first on Twitter.
Airport operates 24 hours, 7 days a week and it is one of the busiest places that we know. Flight status, parking coupons, shopping specials, issue resolution; passengers are no longer looking for this information simply by logging on an airport’s website or customer support hotline. With smart phones and tablet computers, travellers are reaching out to airports for real-time response and made easier with the help of Enterprise 2.0.
Interacting with passengers through Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, blogs, You Tube and other social media channels can provide real-time response. Airport are easily connects to their audience who ask questions, need their travel issue resolved, feedback, seek additional information, shopping deals and research destinations. In some cases, travellers require only to tweet their queries to receive a prompt personal reply.
One of the best examples is Harrisburg International Airport; on their website they include a page about social media policy wherein you can read there an information how they apply the use of some social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, You Tube and Linkedin to facilitate an ongoing dialogue with the public on the latest news regarding the airport, security, flights, the air travel industry and other related topics. They even encourage passenger to put their comments, ideas and concern to improve their service.
According to Aviation Pros airports are investing business intelligence solutions to deliver an improved passenger experience. The survey results about social media are 86% of airports see it as a priority for sharing information and collaborating with partners; 83% to ensure more accurate service information for passengers; and 76% to reduce flight delays due to ground operational issues.
The three main areas that airports are looking to improve business intelligence with geolocation technology are:
- Reducing passenger congestion with real time staff location (50%)
- Monitoring of aircraft movements (32%)
- Movement of passengers at airports (31%)
Needless to say it is not usually all positive in the airport world. Weather conditions, up-line and down-line delays, parking lots fill up, and flight cancelled occur. When we see a tweet or post about cancellation or delay we concentrate on ensuring the passenger feels informed and engaged. In a nutshell, airports are making use of social media networking sites to listen, help, deliver and extend their customer support service experience.