There are a number of reasons to use Social Media. And as some of my non believing friends will remind me, there is no reason they will ever use it. Let me present a case to you where Social Media is great in an industry that is often criticized for poor custom service.
On Fathers Day I had to travel to Novi for a work training trip. Except for missing my family, the trip was going great. Learned a great deal on a new software product, picked up some local flavor in a small restaurant have a local beer.
My return was on Tuesday. Flight from Detroit to Chicago and then the connection back to Milwaukee. 7:11PM departure from Detroit getting back to Milwaukee around 9:42 with the transfer.
Then a text came in from United Airlines while we were finishing up training: Your 7:11pm flight to Chicago is delayed due to awaiting aircraft. UA3617 now departs Detroit 9:30PM and arrives 9:54pm. Problem now is that I am going to miss my connection. This text came in around 3:45. My ride to the airport was coming to pick me up in 45 minutes, and I was still in the training class.
The driver from All Star Transportation was great. He picked up me and another guy on time. The other guy was going ot Kansas. I get in the car and I get another text from United that my flight is not leaving at 10:06 and getting to Chicago at 10:30PM.
This is when I jumped on Twitter.
I send a status update to @United. Within 5 minutes a Twitter Ticket Agent responded. I made up TTA, not sure that is what they are really called. My guess is that the scenario I described happens all the time, and that a heavy client centric company like an airline figured out that this is a great way to further service the clients. Create some new positions, and people do not need to wait on hold on the phone for hours.
Agent ^EY from United was able to have me re booked on a different airline in my 45 minute traffic filled ride from Novi to the Detroit airport. Now all I needed to do was to take a shuttle from the United terminal to the Delta terminal. In Detroit they are about a 10 minute shuttle ride away.
Made it home on a non-stop flight on Delta at 7:54PM a good two hours ahead of my originally scheduled flight. Social Media and excellent Customer Service the way it is suppose to work.