August 14th, 2012
Gulliver, writing for The Economist, touching on the Alaska Airlines bungle last week (and summarising it well in his post).
And he concludes:
“Companies in industries like air travel that involve high levels of direct interaction with customers have to take negative social-media attention extremely seriously. In this case, Alaska/Horizon’s official response was too slow (a day is an eternity in social media) and took a tone that backfired on the company. Getting the right response up quickly is hard, but in cases like these, it’s also necessary.”
I pretty much agree with the above statement — but with the exception of how the “official response was too slow”.
Yes, a day in social media, or even the Internet, can seem like a very long time. Yet, in cases where a sufficient level of information is required to make a sustainable determination is still a must, and can only be done at a real-world pace.
The opportunity cost of possibly jumping the gun, for the sake of providing the awaiting social media audience with a timely response, can have a far-worser effect than the offending party seemingly dragging their feet (relative to Internet time) and providing the best-possible response.
I believe Alaska Airlines has done what was needed to alleviate the given situation — enough said.
UPDATE: Apparently, the company is now looking for a solution to the problem:
“@ghimlay: .@AlaskaAir is hiring a director of corp comms, based in SEA if anyone is keen! http://www.journalismjobs.com/Job_Listing.cfm?Media=Other&JobID=1406203”