Wall-mounted screens in the new Southwest Airlines Listening Center
Airlines in the modern world seem to use social media one of two ways. Either as an effective marketing tool with no ability to handle any customer service functions, or as a customer service tool with little-to-no ability to market effectively. There are a rare few airlines that can do both of these things and one of them is Southwest. Recently, they began operations in their new Listening Center, a kind of “social media command center” and I had a chance to see how it works.
A better look at the set up in the Listening Center
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become so ingrained into many of our lives. We have access to them on our phones, tablets, and computers – even on watches – that it becomes so overwhelming.
In some forms it is a great way of sharing things with others, like what you are doing or where you are going. However, it is also a great tool in getting a message across or being able to get some things fixed. As social media has grown over the years, it has become more and more apparent that businesses need to address these platforms as a separate communication tool and start to use them effectively. The Listening Center at Southwest is the first of its kind and is staffed by up to nine people at a time.
The current PDX carpet design which has such a cult following – Photo: Port of Portland/PDX
Portland Airport staff in the late 80s would never have imagined that over 20 years later, a cult following would beset their airport; specifically, the carpet. What has surprised the Port of Portland (PDX) and locals alike is how this simple floor covering has turned into a phenomenon.
How does a piece of carpet become so well known? We put out a tweet one afternoon with just a small glimpse of the design and within seconds, numerous people had correctly guessed what it was, and they were not all Portland locals either. What makes this carpet so special?
AirTran Boeing 737-700 at Seattle when I flew them last
I have mentioned a few times in my blog that for my “real” job I work at a local university. Right now the students are about ready to have finals. You can always tell since the library gets full and students start to have stressed looks on their faces (how I do not miss those days). But with finals, soon comes a well deserved spring break.
Enter AirTran’s U program, which allows college students to purchase cheap standby tickets — arriving just in time for those spring breaks. There are two things most college students like: FaceBook and saving money and AirTran is happy to meet those needs.
AirTran is also launching the Creeper Sweepstakes (people surfing FaceBook are called “creepers”) via the AirTran U FaceBook page where college students can win a free round-trip ticket on AirTran.
My mother still tells me stories when she was in college she would always fly standby on the cheap. At a time when we hear more and more about airlines charging to fly standby, it is refreshing to see an airline to help college students have an awesome spring break.
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