People

Social Care: A Look Behind the Scenes

Social media has dramatically changed the way people connect with each other. Nearly two-thirds of the U.S. adult population now uses social networks. And social media use is still growing.

At Southwest, social media has become an important way that we interact with our Customers. On average, our Social Care Team receives nearly 3,000 inbound posts per day on our social channels on average .

Our Social Care Team is available to serve our Customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to comments, questions, concerns, and compliments received on Southwest’s social media channels. Each of our Social Care Team Members is well versed in Company policies and procedures and has the tools to assist Customers with their in-the-moment and post-travel related inquiries. The Team can handle virtually any inquiry without needing to direct a Customer to another channel or department for service, helping Customer Service to be efficient and timely.

Michelle Benham, Southwest Director of Customer Relations, explains why quick response times are an essential element of good Social Care. “If you’re a Customer sitting in the airport, you need answers fast. With Twitter especially, we’ve found that Customers want quick answers to their in-the-moment travel-related questions. So we aim to provide our Customers a response to their inquiry on Twitter in a matter of minutes, not hours. And we’re always striving to get even better and faster.”

Investing in Social Care
Our continuing commitment to our social media-connected Customers is embodied by our state-of-the-art Social Listening Center. In 2014, we launched the domestic airline industry’s first-ever Social Listening Center at our Headquarters in Dallas. In 2017, we built on its legacy with our improved Listening Center 2.0—a redesigned Listening Center that allows us to connect with our online Customers better than ever before.

Lisa Goode, Southwest Senior Director of Social Business, can barely contain her excitement when she describes the new Listening Center’s capabilities. “It really gives us a better view of everything that’s happening at any given moment. If there is something going on within our operation or in the world that would impact Southwest, we have a better read on it. And that lets us get information to our Customers faster and provide our connected Customers with our legendary Customer Service.”

And while the new Listening Center serves as a strong example of our Commitment to Social Care, it’s only one piece of a much larger effort. Our 39-member Social Care Team touches many parts of our daily operations, with workstations in our Listening Center, Network Operations Control (NOC), and Customer Relations Department.

Expanding Horizons
“Social Care is a great tool for taking care of our Customers, but we’re actually doing a lot more than just responding to questions or concerns,” explains Lisa. “We get to see what Customers are saying and thinking about us in real time. We get to watch their journeys, through photos and videos. We receive a lot of Employee compliments that we can share with People inside of Southwest. And it even lets us share stories with People who may not have ever flown Southwest. Social Care is an extension of our Purpose: we’re connecting People. That’s the real beauty of it.”

Social Care is an extension of our Purpose: we’re connecting People. That’s the real beauty of it.
—Lisa Goode, Southwest Senior Director of Social Business

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