Company: Delta Air Lines, Inc. Atlanta, GA
Company Description: Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. With its unsurpassed global network, Delta and the Delta Connection® carriers offer service to more than 340 destinations in nearly 60 countries on six continents. The Reservation Sales and Customer Care division handles an average of 55 million customer contacts each year and generates approximately $2B in annual revenue.
Nomination Category: Customer Service & Call Center Awards Achievement Categories
Nomination Sub Category: e-Commerce Customer Service Award
Nomination Title: @DeltaAssist, e-Commerce Customer Service Award
Tell the story about your e-commerce-based customer service initiatives since the beginning of July 2011 (up to 500 words). Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms. Be sure to mention obstacles overcome, innovations or discoveries made, and outcomes:
As Delta Air Lines was developing its social media strategy, we saw an opportunity to go beyond social media gimmicks and use the new technologies to provide a real value – customer support. Since customer satisfaction is the single biggest driver of business success at Delta, this made sense to the overall business strategy.
Delta’s goal was to use Twitter to identify and actively assist Delta customers who need help before, during, and after their travel experience. We would do this by “humanizing” Delta’s online presence by facilitating interactions between customers and identifiable Delta social assist agents, while adapting, growing, and evolving to meet the needs of the consumers.
@DeltaAssist was created to help customers who used Twitter to voice complaints. However, the target audience was really all Delta customers, as those who did not use Twitter were encouraged to create accounts simply to take advantage of the efficient and effective customer support provided by @DeltaAssist.
The @DeltaAssist team is staffed with 14 empowered reservations agents, providing 24/7 assistance. These former call center agents help the customer rather than direct them to another resource. In fact, these agents can do everything completely within Twitter that a call center agent could do over the phone, except book a new ticket.
Because of their close proximity to cross-divisional team members and their ability to identify issues, @DeltaAssist helps to manage customer-facing issues by reporting large scale events in real-time to policy decision makers. On several occasions, this team has affected change to policy to better serve all customers.
@DeltaAssist social assist agents noticed that customers also used Twitter to voice complaints about airport facilities and/or service. While problems in the airport are difficult to address virtually, the team developed an innovative solution to close the gap. An integrated offline and online system was developed to contact station managers at airports and alert them of in-airport issues impacting customers. This system has been used many times to alert airport personnel of issues occurring in real-time and has given the airport customer service teams another resource for improving the customer experience.
Milestones and Accolades:
•With @DeltaAssist, Delta became the first US carrier to offer a Twitter-based social support channel and the program continues to be the most robust.
•PCWorld magazine named Delta Air Lines the “Top Tech-Friendly U.S. Airline” for 2 years in a row. The publication highlighted @DeltaAssist as one of Delta’s standout initiatives.
•Year over year, year to date Oct, Twitter followers have increased 75% and volume has grown 41%
•Customers continually express their appreciation for real-time assistance in the channel of their choice:
o“Thanks to the social media team @Delta (DeltaAssist!) for renewing my faith in customer service!”
o“Put comment on twitter. Quick reply. Quick research & answer. @DeltaAssist one of the best customer service experiences ever #delta @Delta”
o“Why do I love @Delta? Because they don’t just pretend to have Twitter - @DeltaAssist always helps.”
Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the nominated customer service organization:
Jerry Fletcher has been with Delta for 16 years. As manager of Res Systems and Social Media, he co-founded @DeltaAssist, the first of its kind, as an industry leading social outreach tool. Jerry has a passion for travel, customer service, and emerging media. He holds a master’s degree in Conflict Resolution, focusing on group dynamics and alternative dispute resolution, and a bachelor’s in Business Administration. Jerry is frequently asked to speak at social media venues, both travel industry and non-industry related. When Jerry isn’t busy managing Delta Assist, he enjoys traveling to remote corners of the globe with his family.