Following a report by Engagement Labs we are proud to announce that our customer, Alaska Airlines, has been ranked first place out of the top 10 US airlines for delivering customer service over Twitter, with a respectable second place on Instagram, and fourth place on Facebook.
With 150 planes forming its fleet, Alaska Airlines has always had innovation in its product DNA. Alaska Air was the first to develop satellite guidance, a navigation technique that has transformed landing at Alaska’s tricky airports. That innovation has found its way into their social customer service channels, with the release of a report by Engagement Labs showing that Alaska Air is leading the way with customer connections over social channels and demonstrating best practices for airlines.This innovation goes right into Alaska Air’s operational expertise and high quality service. Alaska Airlines planes are more likely to be on time, with 87 percent landed on time with the lowest rate of passengers filing complaints about their trip. That’s no mean feat when Alaska Air flies to 16 towns accessible only by plane, and in doing so, ferries food and medical supplies, takes thousands of oil workers above the Arctic Circle, and operates as the biggest air shipper for the state’s fisheries. Alaska Air works hard to ensure it's offline operations translate well with their online communications delivery.
The airline has worked hard to establish 50,000 points of data to improve its on-time performance, from the time that bags are loaded and passengers board, to when the pilot pushes back from the gate. It also figured out that if it could shave just a minute of taxi time from each flight, it could save 500 minutes, or over eight hours a day — the equivalent of flying an extra plane daily, said Ben Minicucci, the chief operating officer. If such small efforts allowed the carrier to free up a plane, it could generate $25 million to $30 million in revenue a year. These innovations deliver impeccable offline service to passengers every day, making sure that the brand is always building relationships with customers - and this is a top priority for the team at Alaska Airlines.
With the news of the takeover of Virgin America, Alaska Airlines is set to become the 5th largest airline in the US. Alaska Air was the top-scoring traditional carrier in rankings from JD Power and Associates and came in third, behind JetBlue and Southwest, in the American Customer Satisfaction Index's airline survey. For its part, Alaska Airlines has long been considered a customer service darling according to The Drum, winning “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Carriers” by J.D. Power for eight straight years. Additionally, the airline has strong on-time performance, coming in at #1 for six years in a row by FlightStats. That innovation and operational expertise contributes hugely to Alaska Air’s success with its passengers for so long.
Our recent social maturity index model ranks how an airline such as Alaska Air performs against its competitors and how the airline industry is using social at the forefront of consumer connections and conversations. It’s a truth that Alaska is one of the leading airlines in the industry, actively using the channel as a customer service platform by providing its passengers answers to their inquiries with helpful information on a daily basis, with a response time of only a few minutes on each query.
You can see why airlines such as Alaska Airlines have embraced Twitter as a channel with volumes coming from passengers in the moment of their customer service journey due to the live nature of the channel. Out of the top 10 US airlines, Alaska Airlines ranks at no 1 for social customer service, and #IFlyAlaska shows the passion passengers have for the airline. This love is reciprocated by the airline team, with Alaska Air sharing the news of the merger with their passengers over their digital channels, another example showing how the team at Alaska Air is well oriented to serve the social flyer.
Back in 2014, Alaska was leading the way whilst airlines like United were being slated by Will.i.am for airport lounge mishaps. The team at Alaska Air still works hard to ensure that online conversation drives offline engagement. From the Engagement Labs report, we can see that when it comes to word of mouth sentiment, Alaska Airlines ranks third out of the top 10 US airlines. Bryan Segal, CEO at Engagement Labs. said, "Studying the top U.S. airlines, we saw these airlines are using social media to engage with their followers and address their travel needs by participating in two-way communication." The moral of Alaska’s social customer service story: support the online with offline as much as possible.
Congratulations Alaska Airlines! If you want more information on how Conversocial can support your social customer service efforts, get in touch with the team.