An analysis in Forbes of a Southwest Airlines social media campaign gone sour due to a technical glitch centers on the new role of customer service:
+ Set expectations — while working to identify and scope out the situation use social media to listen actively, acknowledge the issue, and let customers know what they can expect and when
+ Be sensitive — regularly scheduled Facebook updates that don’t address the crisis may be innocuous, but may further alienate customers who want a resolution
+ Keep on communicating — don’t make customers call you for an update. Better to err on the side of too much than not enough communication
+ Find a good way to compensate — Southwest offered $150 vouchers to those affected by the mistakes.
In another airline glitch this month, El Al promoted round-trip tickets from New York to Israel at one-quarter of the normal price, selling over 5,000 tickets before the mistake was discovered. They honored those orders and asked the lucky travelers to share their stories on their web site.