American Airlines responds to every tweet with original, non-scripted answers

The airline combines customer service and promotions in one account that boasts 400,000 followers, making sure none of its content is ever canned.

The team came up with a ton of words, she says: genuine, authentic, transparent, savvy, clear, professional, warm, upbeat. One thing it should never be, though? Scripted.

“It’s part of our overall plan for our style and how we want to engage with customers,” she says. “Every response will be different.”

American operates with just one Twitter account for customer service and promotional messaging, says Stephanie Scott, who handles proactive messaging strategy, as part of the effort to be totally up front with customers. With nearly 400,000 followers, customers seem to appreciate the approach.

Customer service

American’s customer service team spends 18 hours a day—from 6 a.m. to midnight—answering customer questions and complaints. The team responds to every tweet with a hand-crafted, personal response.

“Our goal is to respond to every actionable tweet,” Hernandez says. “What we mean by actionable is basically anything that’s not a news feed coming in.”

That sounds like a lot of time and work, but Hernandez says American makes it easier by bringing knowledgeable, experienced people onto the team. Many of them come from other customer service jobs at the airline, she says.

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