Recently, I had to help my boyfriend find airline tickets for an emergency trip. To find the cheapest airfare, we did what any logical person would do today: search online. We looked at price comparison sites. We read blog posts for tips on how to get cheap flights for urgent trips. And we scoured review sites to make sure that we were dealing with a decent airline.
After doing extensive research, we contacted a few airlines. But the problem was it was a Saturday evening: most airline call centers had shorter hours. All travel agencies that we called were also already closed. After being informed by Air Canada that it would take an hour for them to call me back, I decided to send them a tweet.
Guess how much time it took for them to tweet me back? Less than 15 minutes.
This experience of mine not only demonstrates why social media is a great tool for businesses today—it also highlights the fact that we’re now at a time when customers like myself have more information, more choices and more opportunities to say what’s on my mind.
Think about it: Just a decade ago, I wouldn’t have had the choice of tweeting the company. The technology that would allow me do research before contacting an airline wouldn’t be as robust. And checking reviews from other customers online would have been considered weird.
We are now living in the age of the empowered customer.