I was perusing Twitter today and came across a few posts made by President of Vital Insight Grp, blogger and “customer satisfaction evangelist,” Jason Tryfon. He was commenting on his terrible experience on a United flight with a particularly rude flight attendant. These posts were made in real time, as the incident was taking place. Now, I’ve heard stories from my PR professor of this happening (with Ford in particular) but, this is my first experience with the power of Twitter and the disadvantage a company puts itself in when they disregard social media.
It’s yet to be seen just how this will turn out but, it is clear that United Airlines is in dire need of social media counseling. Jason posted this comment on Twitter, “The good news about my #United experience today is my entire sales team is cold calling them. United we want to help.” And, a google search of “United Airlines blog” brings up several results for blogs complaining about United Airlines service.
I should also point out that the search does generate a very good blog post about one “rogue pilot at stodgy United Airlines creating his own word-of-mouth-worthy experience for fliers.” But, this is only one employee and he’s not reaching out to the negative words online. Kudos to him though for putting in the extra effort, United can sure use it.
The story my professor told about Ford had a happy ending because there was someone in the wings ready to tackle the situation. In this case, United doesn’t seem to have a link to bloggers, twitterers, or other social media outlets. Hopefully, they will take the hand Jason Tryfon is attempting to outstretch. United, he wants to help. And, you need it.
Oh and, I plan on following this as it develops more. Jason promised a blog post about his experience, if you’re interested in following the situation as well, here’s the link – http://www.williamsdesignstudios.com/main/