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Article from BTNews 9 SEPTEMBER 2013

COMMENT: BA - 24 hour airline

Or is it?

But it only reacts to customers during head office Waterside opening hours so it seems. 

It has taken a service software company to show how far BA is behind when it comes to social media.

Richard McCrossan, Strategic Business Director of customer service software company Genesys, has highlighted how a recent angry customer tweet imploded around the world.  Airlines, and for that matter all businesses, do get things wrong from time to time, but there are ways of dealing with it.

Hasan Syed took to Twitter to complain about the customer service he had received from British Airways when they lost his father's luggage.  He decided to do more than tweet it to his own friends and followers.  He opted – perfectly legally – to pay to have his tweet promoted – sending it to the top of the airline’s Twitter feed and the feeds of related companies across the world.

Six hours after the tweet went live and before the airline had responded personally to Mr Syed, it had been picked up by websites, read by thousands, retweeted and commented on.

It took the airline another four hours to pick up on it. "Sorry for the delay in responding, our twitter feed is open 09:00-17:00 GMT.  Please DM (direct message) your baggage ref and we'll look into this".

Twitter is a channel where customers expect quick responses 24/7.  It is no longer a 9-5 world – especially when it comes to social media, and companies, particularly those that operate globally and therefore need to be available at all times.

Mr Syed’s use of Twitter has highlighted the need for real time routing for tweets.  Real time routing provides a social media customer care solution that automates the processes of listening to what people are saying, analysing posts, and prioritising and routing them to the right people.  An organisation can then respond in the right way to strengthen the customer relationship and brand – and limit the damage.

To be fair BA’s press office is on call 24 hours.  As for its parent company IAG they are selective on who press releases go to, very aggravating.

Business Travel News, a small organisation, does not use Twitter but responds to all emails as soon as practical.

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