American Airlines has just one Twitter account for customer service and promotional messaging, says Stephanie Scott, who handles proactive messaging strategy, as part of the effort to be totally up front with customers. With nearly 400,000 followers, customers seem to appreciate the approach.

 

American Airlines customer service

American’s customer service team spends 18 hours a day—from 6 a.m. to midnight—answering customer questions and complaints. The team responds to every tweet with a hand-crafted, personal response.

Customer service representatives use Hootsuite to reply to customer comments and avoid duplication. No one team member is assigned to certain types of complaints or questions; employees simply answer tweets in the order they’re received.

Then there are the customers who vow never to fly American again. Sometimes, all you can say is, “We’re sorry, and we hope you give us another chance,” Hernandez says. For Advantage Elite members, there may be a process of linking them up with the customer loyalty department. Plus, there’s the option of carrying on a conversation by direct message.

Other tweets

To look at American’s Twitter page, it may look as though @ replies are all it’s for, but Scott says that’s not so. The social media team send out two to four tweets per day on a variety of topics, and because only certain users can see @ replies directed toward specific users, those tweets are what most followers see.

For example, a series of tweets on July 23 dealt with the announcement that American was going to have personal entertainment screens and inputs at every seat on its new planes. Each of those tweets linked to blog posts and videos where people could see more. Sometimes, tweets may link to fare sales or write-ups about events like taking a group of World War II veterans to visit the war memorial in Washington.

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Better tomorrow,

PR Pret-a-Porter.