Gogo takes its social media presence very seriously. It has to – social media is the number one application used by its customers while in flight. So how does Gogo manage the medium so well?
Speaking at the APEX educational event on the eve of the APEX EXPO in Singapore, Scott Carmichael, Gogo’s Senior Manager, Social Media and Content, said: “Providing customer care at 30,000 feet is not easy, but I like to think Gogo is very good at it.”
Carmichael joined Gogo in 2011, launching its customer care and social media presence and winning an inaugural “Skiftie” award for “Best Social Media Customer Service” in 2014.
Gogo was the first IFC provider to offer 24/7 live chat to all passengers, without the need for an authenticated session.
“When we launched our inflight connectivity service we knew we had to provide some method of providing customer care for passengers in flight,” said Carmichael. “The way we did this was with a live chat system.
“Whether you manage social media as a company is a binary decision – you either do it right or you don’t do it all. And if you don’t do it properly there are going to be consequences for you.
“We had a customer once who realised that he did not have his wallet with him when he got on the aircraft – and we were able to cancel his credit cards for him while he was in flight.”
Carmichael said social media has “a huge amplification”. If customers are not happy, everyone will know. If you aren’t there to answer their queries you will hear about it.
But the good side is that the amplification can be very positive if you get it right.
Carmichael said you have to get full company buy in.
“Gogo has always been social from the top down. We have tremendous support from our CEO, CCO and product teams,” he said.
“We aim to respond to enquiries within 10 minutes – in October it has been an average eight minutes and five seconds.”
He added you also have to select your social media team very carefully.
“We tend to appoint people who are well versed in social media already. You also have to empower them to be able to make their own decisions. For example, we have a gift store for customers who have let us help them. They get to choose a free gift bag.
“Responses to this programme have been incredible. Customers LOVE our brand,” he said.
“We are now a global player too, which makes social media more challenging.”
Gogo handles communications in English, French, Portuguese, Japanese and Spanish with more languages coming.
“We have Air France-KLM coming on board so we currently sourcing and training people to handle social media responses coming from those regions too.”
So what social media monitoring applications does Gogo use?
And what does he recommend to other companies that want to manage their social media presence better?
“Avoid the mistake of trying to be everywhere at the same time. Focus on the top two or three platforms for your geographic region,” he said.
Gogo publishes to 10 different social channels, but only provides customer care on Facebook and Twitter.
And what of the future?
“There is a lot going on in the world and things are moving very fast. In five years the social media scene will look completely different. There is a good chance that customer’s queries could be handled via artificial intelligence (AI) in future,” Carmichael concluded.