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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