Posts Tagged ‘social media’


Slate had a very interesting article about Air Berlin flight that did not go quite as plan for either the passengers or the airline (I’m Here for Business Meetings with No Clothes, Sep 4).

The problem seems to have started when an Aug. 9 flight from Stockholm to Berlin took off without loading any luggage. Almost 200 bags idled in the Stockholm airport; passengers’ inquiries were met with endless redirects. One customer even unveiled a Facebook group called Airberlin 8109 Stockholm to Berlin – Where are our bags?!?!? The somewhat reiterative description reads:

“A group for those who flew on AB 8109 from Stockholm to TXL on 9 August 2013. NONE of the checked luggage was loaded on the airplane—almost 200 missing pieces missing among the passengers. Little to no information has been provided. We filled out forms and were given baggage service numbers to call, but the phone line has no answer all day. Days later, still no information whatsoever, nobody to call, no information, not sure what to do. Baggage company says to contact airline; airline says to contact baggage company. Vacations & weddings ruined. We still can’t comprehend why the captain decided to take off before any pieces of luggage were loaded. We need support from Air Berlin—please get to the bottom of this. This isn’t one lost bag, it’s a whole plane of lost bags!”

Needless to say, people were kinda pissed. You don’t have to infer this. You can read about the long series of increasingly frustrated tweets reproduced in the article (including the one I took to be the title of this article).


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Just how productive can tweeting be? As the Wall Street Journal tells it, Twitter has become an effective platform for customer service at Citibank (Citi Won’t Sleep on Customer Tweets, Oct 4).

Frustrated by the 40 minutes she spent on hold with Citibank customer service, Stacy Small tweeted her displeasure. To her surprise, a Citibank agent tweeted right back. “Send us your phone number and we’ll call you right now,” read the message.

Within minutes Ms. Small, who owns a luxury-travel company in Los Angeles, was on the phone with an agent, one of about 30 customer-service personnel based in Jacksonville, Fla., and San Antonio who have received special training in social media. The agent took such good care of her that, now, whenever Ms. Small has a problem she bypasses the call center and instead tweets her concerns to the Twitter address @askCiti. …

Ms. Small was the beneficiary of a two-year effort by the Citigroup Inc. unit to overhaul the way it interacts with customers using social-networking sites run by Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc. and others.


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Forbes had an interesting article, asking its readers whether they are ready for the social supply chain (“Are You Ready for the Social Supply Chain?”).  It seems that the author and I don’t really know what is a social supply chain, but the article brings several interesting points

 A recent report by  Buddy Media and Booz & Company identified Facebook (with 850 million users, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that 94% of respondents regard it #1), Twitter(77%) and YouTube (42%) as  the top three preferred social media platforms for brands to utilize. This information does not mean that the functionality of other social media platforms, including blogs, and enterprise systems like Moxie Software and Yammer are not valuable to enhance external communication and collaboration. “

Yammer improves communication within the organization by creating internal social networks for enterprise purposes, allowing employees to communicate among themselves. Clearly improving communication within the organization is a lofty goal, but is a social network the way to do it? I have seen firms in which employees were sitting in adjacent offices, and did not even share a common forecast, not to mention that none of them knew what inventory policy was the other person using. Is the only goal of this “social supply chain” to create a vehicle for communication among the different nodes in the chain?


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I am teaching service ops this quarter and we are just about to the module on service recovery. As I have noted in the past, this is one of the things that has really changed in the years I have taught this course. Why delays happen in call centers or smart ways of organizing resources has largely been static. But how people complain and how firms deal with those complaints has changed over time. Just in time for next week’s class, we have two new articles on how social media is impacting the service recovery process. First, up is the Wall Street Journal on Delta Airlines (The Airlines’ Squeaky Wheels Turn to Twitter, Oct 26). Delta apparently pays people to read Twitter and Facebook all day.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

A computer program searches for terms like “Delta sucks.” Beside the wall-mounted monitors showing Delta mentions on Twitter and other sites are screens showing how Delta’s flights are operating. When bad weather creates delays and missed connections, the tweets fly, and the Delta agents can respond with specific information about the causes of delays. Some customers tweet from 35,000 feet using on-board Wi-Fi, and the social-media customer service agents can make sure they have been rebooked before they land.

“You are there with their emotions, good or bad,” said Allison Ausband, vice president of reservation sales and customer care. The advantage to the airline: Better to “resolve problems at first contact rather than letting them fume,” she said.


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