Another airline has given in to the powers of Twitter. This time, it’s Delta that has brought its customer service to Twitter in a big way, and that’s great news. It’s not quite where it needs to be, but hopefully they’ll realize that quickly and fix it.
When you have travel problems, you can now Tweet them to @DeltaAssist. The airline says this is a pilot program, but it’s pretty robust for being just that. There are five people monitoring the account and responding to all sorts of issues. Sounds great, right? One problem. It’s not manned 24/7.
For now, the account is active only Monday through Friday from 8a to 930p Eastern Time. That’s not good enough. This is the largest airline in the world, and it runs 24 hours a day. To not have anyone on the weekend is a tremendous issue. Not having someone in the overnight hours fails to recognize that there are a lot of flights operating around the world during that time. To ultimately be successful, they’re going to need to be on the ball all day, every day.
But how have they been doing so far when they are on the clock? Let’s take a look.
I looked at last Friday, June 25. There were a total of 90 tweets sent by the @DeltaAssist account between the time they signed on at 758a and the time they signed off at 953p. I tracked as many of the conversations as I could to see how the response time stacked up. Overall, it was pretty good (though there could have been some that they never responded to that I didn’t see).
I tracked 64 conversations based on the tweets that they sent out on the 25th and divided them into three categories: negative, positive, and questions.
As you can see, Delta did a good job of responding to some tweets very quickly. There were some that didn’t receive a response for a very long time, but to be fair most of those were not urgent. On top of that, it appears that they’re still trying to find their footing. They were responding to questions and complaints written to all Delta Twitter accounts, so I have no doubt there was a large volume of stuff to get through.
Many of those long response times were responded to in the early afternoon, so it’s almost as if they just found a bunch of old tweets. My guess is that there are a bunch of different Delta teams responding to each account (that sounds like Delta to me), so someone probably forwarded a bunch over to the Assist team in the afternoon. They’ll need to get that squared away.
Most importantly, I hope you’ll notice, Delta, that a simple search brought up more than 20 tweets citing “DeltaAssist” between the time you signed off on Friday and Sunday afternoon when I’m writing this. And this is just a couple days after you officially launched it. It’s only going to grow.
The airline is off to a very good start here. Welcome to the world of Twitter customer service, Delta. Now get to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and you’ll be in serious business.