Earlier this summer we launched our new report Social Media Customer Service in the Travel Industry focused on how airlines and hospitality brands use Facebook and Twitter to connect with the travel consumer.

Below is an extract. Get the full report here to get ahead of this trend.

For airlines and hotels, customer touchpoints will continue to widen with further integration of social messaging and mobile-friendly apps that are more conducive to real-time feedback, both through alerts and push notifications and an on-call customer care specialist dedicated to fulfilling holiday travel wishes and personal milestones. This capability goes beyond logging into Facebook and Twitter on a mobile device.

American Airlines Advantage provides its Executive Platinum members with access to a more personalized version of its Passbook. It allows high level guests to direct message its social care team on Twitter, cutting out the fuss. In addition, these mobile apps cut out an extra step to reach a live representative by phone at the reservations desk at the customer contact center or the hotel itself. Brands are finding innovative ways of integrating their content, support channels and services internally and externally.

Since social media doesn’t sleep and someone is always awake on the other side of the world, more brands will organize their teams to provide worldwide, 24-hours a day customer service on social media with a diverse multi-lingual team. These skills will be more sought out in the future as companies continue to leverage its existing talent pool’s expertise.

There is still a lot of work to be done in optimizing and benefiting from big data mining and analyzing efforts. As more brands harness the information that already exists in the public, there will be more opportunities to learn from customers and bring those conversation back to the community to further deepen the knowledge of more customers. In addition, these efforts will be further tied to the brand’s key performance indicators.

“We capture social Net Promoter Scores through our customer insights team which is an internal team that analyzes the survey data that we send our customers and any written feedback that we get from them, so the team actually attaches a score to our social media sentiment and they break it down to categories that spans mentions of brand as whole all the way to our crew members,” says Laurie Meacham, Leader of JetBlue’s Social Media and Customer Commitment Team.

As the volume of social conversations rise and there is more information to track, the need to automate the nature of conversations will be more sought out. Specifically, further development in capturing sentiment that unlocks sarcasm will enable teams to appropriately tag conversations for analysis.

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