Responding to Twitterventers

“Sometimes you just need to know when to say ‘when’ and move on,” said Joel Frey, director of public relations for Travelocity.

Frey was referring to angry Travelocity customers who take to social media platforms when they’re upset after having no luck from customer service. His team, mostly Frey and another colleague, monitor, encourage customers to contact them when they’re venting, gather the facts, and ensure that the customer service team is trying to solve the issue.  But he knows that he can’t make everyone happy. “Know when to move on so you can help others,” said Frey.

Frey spoke this week at a PRSA Colorado monthly lunch: “Social Media: Where Public Relations and Customer Relations Collide.”

Frey used Twitter as the social media platform example in his presentation, and referred to people who use Twitter as a last resort as Twitterventers (Travelocity set up a special email for Twitterventers: twitter@travelocity.com).

One of the lessons that he learned along the way is that you need to have a thick skin. “You can’t take the angry tweets personally, and you must have customer service involved from the very beginning.”

Other advice Frey shared is consistency across all social media platforms when it comes to engaging with customers; 24-hour monitoring, and responsiveness, no matter what platform customers are using. And don’t just pay attention to the squeaky wheels: recognize and respond to your customers who pay you compliments as well.

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