A couple years ago, when social media started taking off, the common business maxim and encouragement for joining was something to the effect of, “Your customers are talking about you regardless if you’re there or not. With social media, you can listen and respond.”
Most companies, intrigued by this idea, jumped on the social media bandwagon, but simply used the services to shout their traditional marketing message, rather than listening.
Delta Airlines is doing something very different with their @DeltaAssist Twitter account. This account is specifically used to address Delta customer concerns in real time, knowing full well that this channel was going to be used to hear people who are overwhelmingly angry. Today, Delta ranks #1 in Twitter activity for airlines. One, because of their immediate response to tweets. Two, because they encourage open frustration. They don’t hide from problems. They learn from them. And we should all learn from Delta.