When I’m reviewing my Twitter stream certain things catch my eye and I’m compelled to clink the link to read more. This morning I came a cross the situation of Air Berlin and a very bad customer service situation where a plane load of travelers were left without their luggage and many where either on holiday or business. A very bad situation for those customers. The title of the article promised a spectacular social media meltdown. I read the article over a couple of times and there wasn’t a spectacular social media meltdown that I could find.
When you run an organization providing services to the public, there are times when you aren’t going to be popular and people are going to be unhappy with you. Often very unhappy. And many times rightly so. You are not going to be liked all the time by everyone. People are going to take to social media to express their displeasure. That’s a given. And just part of doing business.
Airlines are no exception to here. They are a favorite topic on social media in regards to service and late flights. Airlines have a high volume of traffic by customers asking questions, needing help, and/or complaining. If you were to blackout the name of Air Berlin on the Twitter stream, it would pretty much look like any other airlines Twitter stream.
Air Berlin had a spectacular baggage fail on the ground. Ground crews weren’t equipped or perhaps empowered to assist customers in their time of distress. Looking at Air Berlin’s Twitter stream, they are engaging. I can’t comment if they can really solve the passengers situation; however, they are listening and responding. This isn’t a social media failure. This is a systems failure.
Most social media crises today aren’t really crises, but are headaches. It is very easy to get drawn into the echo chamber that social media creates. A crisis is an event that disrupts organizational operations and/or greatly damages the organization’s reputation, affecting its ability to conduct business. Most social media events do not do that. Social media can raise warning flags for organizations to structural issues the organization maybe having in providing a product or service. Companies need to be watching for those flags.
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