AirAsia takes customer service to social media with AskAirAsia

We’ve all seen how @DeltaAssist is helping travelers out on Twitter, and now on Facebook too. Then we learnt that 93.8% of all tweets to airlines in March 2011 were about customer service issues [see infographic]. Seeing these trends, it was only a matter of time before we saw more customer service functions go social. And the latest airline to make this move is AirAsia.

Airline Customer Service on Facebook and Twitter

AirAsia, which is already the airline that replies to the highest percentage of tweets in the world (>40%), has created an AskAirAsia account on Twitter, and also a “tab” on Facebook. They’ve taken a dig at travelers’ frustrations with the call-center and asked them to direct questions to the CEO, Tony Fernandes (though the photo looks a few years old!). Quite a neat way to connect with the customers – or “guest” as they call them on AirAsia.

On Twitter, you can simply tweet a question and expect a quick reply during Malaysia working hours. What will be interesting to note is that the AskAirAsia twitter account doesn’t reply to any issues publicly – every single one of them is handled using Direct Messages (DMs).

This is an intriguing trend. On one hand, the airline is obviously respecting the privacy of their guests’ issues, and avoiding the public sharing of negative comments, while on the other hand, if there is a passenger with a problem at the gate, in all likelyhood 150+ other passengers are affected by the same problem. And Twitter comes in handy at that point to calm the nerves of many such people – an aspect AskAirAsia might miss out by strictly using DMs.

Nevertheless, great effort by the AirAsia team – and I know that the impetus comes right from the top from the likes of Azran and Tony, and is executed very well by Karen and team. Hope other airlines are watching and learning!

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Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam is the CEO of SimpliFlying and a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought-leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior aviation executives globally, from Chile to Canada and from Sydney to San Francisco. Shashank's perspectives have found their way into major media outlets, including CNN Travel, CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg UTV, Mashable and in leading publications like Airline Business, ATW, Aviation Week, and others. Shashank studied Information Systems Management and Business Management at Singapore Management University and Carnegie Mellon University. Hailing from India, he splits his time between Singapore and Vancouver, among other cities.
Shashank Nigam
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Showing 5 comments
  • CCAirways
    Reply

    Shashank: The volumes alone don’t tell the story if this is real customer service. You need to follow on with an analysis of how many of the issues were actually solved trough twitter or simply passed on to another channel such as the FAQ website.

    • Shashank Nigam
      Reply

      Good point Bruce – intelligent comment, as always. I think these are early times, and as more airlines jump the bandwagon, I think we’ll get into deeper metrics.

  • Allplane
    Reply

    Replying by DM also forces people to follow the airline, which is a sure way to increase twitter follower numbers…

    • Shashank Nigam
      Reply

      Agreed, though, I’m skeptical about airlines just feeling happy about the
      number of followers they have. They still have no clue who’s flown them
      before, or who’s a top-tier frequent flier amongst the followers/fans.
      That’s where the true value lies!

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  • […] the best to complaints on social media. AskAirAsia replies to the highest percentage of tweets (more than 40 percent). A tab on the company Facebook page allows people to ask questions if they are frustrated […]

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