Social CRM has become a big part of being on Twitter for many businesses that are social media savvy. Kenya Airways (KQ), the 6th best airline in Africa according to Sky Trax, is one of them. This is not surprising, as KQ is among the earliest Twitter adopters in African airlines, and it has the highest social influence of the top 6, as indicated by Klout score of 67.
In this Twitter engagement with a customer on Saturday the 30th of November 2013, KQ provides a perfect example for the saying – you cannot control what is being said about you on Twitter, but you can influence the outcome in your favour. Compare tweets 1 (the beginning) and 9 (the end) in the tweet thread below.
Notice that what started as a complaint ended as a compliment. My findings are that (1) KQ’s quick response time (maximum 15 minutes), (2) professional approach and (3) associated offline action to resolve @VusumuziS’s query were the main contributors to the interaction ending on a high note.
Now the $1 million question: What do you think are the chances that @VusumuziS will fly KQ again based on the social CRM experience above? Better still, what do you think are the chances that he will sing KQ’s praises to family, friends and others both online and offline?
On a parting shot, here are 5 of the benefits that make social CRM preferable to traditional Customer Careline in my book:
- For the complainant it is convenient, as there is no need to be in a queue due to clogged lines, or deal with consultants who cannot help or are not courteous at times. For the company, this prevents making a negative experience even worse.
- For the company, complainants’ online profiles can be checked quickly to determine their level of influence, which may determine the approach to dealing with them.
- Companies that focus on building online communities enjoy the benefits of crowdsourcing, as their evangelists voluntarily respond to some of the queries from fellow social netizens.
- Companies that get their social CRM strategies right are praised publicly on social networks, which tends to have a positive ripple effect. This is especially the case in the airline business, where referral marketing is a big part of getting new and repeat business.
- Social CRM and its impact can be measured realtime, all the time.
While bandwidth is not ubiquitous on the African continent yet, the percentage of airline customers with Internet access is relatively high, making a marked shift to social CRM a distinct possibility for brave airline companies such as KQ.