How A Tweet Helped Me Recover My Missing Wallet
Imagine my panic…
When I arrive at my Nashville hotel doing the Spark & Hustle 20 city tour, I can’t find my wallet in my to pay the taxi driver! Luckily my Girlfriend Julie bails me out of my cab situation… but I’m immediately in full-on panic mode: WHERE IS MY WALLET?! I’m gone for days…how am I going to pay for anything while I’m out of town?!! I have NO DRIVERS LICENSE… how will I get home?!!!
Then it dawns on me: THE PLANE! My purse is stuffed full and it must have fallen out on the plane!! I race into the lobby and the concierge tries to help me…. but he gets a recording at the airport. I call my American Airlines Advantage number only to get a busy signal. NO NO NO!! I’m in deep do-do I’m ready to burst into tears in the lobby (don’t judge!) when I remember I have FRIENDS at American Airlines!! And I’m not talking about anyone I’ve met in person, but instead the amazing social media staff I’ve gotten to know while flying AA during the Spark & Hustle tour. I’ve tweeted them compliments, issues and everything in between. Every single time… they answer back and have humanized an industry known in the past for incredibly BAD customer service. (Check out my past blog: American Airlines Tweets Great Customer Service.)
So instead of tears.. I let my fingers do the talking and tweeted American Airlines my pitiful predicament & immediately heard back:
We quickly figure out… my wallet (I’m pretty for sure it’s at seat 9A) is on a roundtrip back to DFW. OH NO!! I’m officially in deeper do-do… and I’m almost positive this story isn’t going to end well.
Thank goodness… the AA social media department is on it!
Here’s the Reader’s Digest version of what happened next: they FOUND my wallet (which had gotten shoved up under the seat in front of it) and sent it with a flight attendant TO NASHVILLE. I had my wallet back in a matter of hours!!! Even going a step further… AA contacted me later to make sure everyone involved in “the rescue” got a “Way To Go” note in their file. I love that!!
So… why did I blog about this? Let me count the ways:
1. Customer Service
We’re too quick to criticize companies with a nasty tweet. When was the last time you COMPLIMENTED someone on twitter for GREAT customer service. No brand or company is perfect, but I’m a big believer that you let a someone know the good AND the bad. AA and many other companies are reaching out to help their customers through social media like they’ve never offered before. There’s no waiting to talk to a real person or hoping “someone” sees your email. Instead, they answer your comments, concerns and questions in REAL TIME. In the case of American Airlines… they’ve moved from a part-time staff to a number of people working almost 24/7. Whether my reservations hit a snag or my bag got lost (last week), the AA social media department has never ceased to amaze me. KUDOS to them and other companies that have gone way beyond the “this is what we’re serving and YOU ARE GOING TO LIKE IT” corporate attitude. Instead, they’re offering real answers in real time. Now, THAT’S customer service!
2. The People Behind The Brand ARE The Brand
Do you know that April and Ann in AA’s social media department feel like friends? I feel a kinship with them as I’ve traveled on this 20 city tour. Let’s face it, I’m on planes a lot and things go wrong. But I always know I have a REAL PERSON to hold my hand (& keep the tears at bay… ha!). For instance, when my kids flew from grandma’s house (with a layover at DFW… EEKS!) I paid the $100 extra dollars for the unaccompanied minor tickets, but I also sent AA a direct message on twitter that said… “precious cargo! Can you make sure they’re taken care of??” Not only did they put a note in the file (which grandma learned about when they checked in) but they checked back to MAKE SURE their flight was good. When was the last time a major brand did THAT?! Seriously… companies that DON’T offer customer service on social media are missing the boat. THESE are the people who represent your brand — hire and train them wisely.
3. Brand Loyalty
I’ve always flown with who ever has the lowest fare. But… this year I booked almost all my trips on AA even if they weren’t the cheapest. I didn’t totally lose my mind b/c price did still played a part in my reservations, but suddenly brand loyalty became my number one consideration. Why? People want to do business with people they feel they know and trust. Not only did they make me feel like a friend, but reward loyalty with miles and upgrades. That’s a double bonus that YOU should be doing in your business no matter what your size. ENGAGE with your customers and REWARD loyalty.. it can turn occasional buyers into raving fans both in person and online. According to Constant Contact, 36% of people trust advertising.. but 81% trust recommendations or opinions online — even if they don’t KNOW the person! What are YOU doing to get folks to engage w/ you and not only come back but recommend you to others?
As you can see… social media is a game changer. Oh… and I plan not to lose my wallet like THAT again….
Thank you, American Airlines! Kudos!
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