Best Twitter Customer Service story ever (or at least I think so)

Pan Am Girl

Each of us is on a quest. It might be for a great pair of shoes, the ultimate bargain or simply a great cup of coffee. For me it’s the exit row. My dad taught me the exit row was the best seat on the plane. Plenty of leg room means I don’t feel like a sardine. Airlines have their policies regarding exit rows and they change more than the incoming gates for flights.

I’ve blogged about my experience with the exit row before which made national attention and haven’t flown Delta in a long time (but I was a great fan of Pan Am in the day before they bought the CVG-MCI route). I was delighted to see an active customer service team on the account. As I was preparing for a trip, I asked them about the exit row policies since it was unclear on the website and I’m sure would be out of date.



Even thought it was around 5am in the morning I got a quick reply. Yeah! As I made final arrangements for the trip I sent them a request for clarification and unfortunately I got a conflicting response:







Multiple agents often monitor a Twitter account and one unofficial strategy is to put initials at the end of a tweet, so we can see these were by two different people

After describing my frustration about the inconsistent policy and the fact I made plans for 3 hours, the agent was nice enough to put me in the exit row ahead of schedule. Yeah! It was the right thing to do, but how often do customer service agents do the right thing rather than quote company policy? But that’s not the fun part of the story.



On the way back, I made the request, properly, a few hours before the flight. The agent was nice enough to find me an exit row on one leg of the flight but when I arrived on the plane it wasn’t an exit row! Oh no. My seatmate lamented the same problem. Technically I found out it was an exit row, but didn’t provide additional leg room.



The agent was very helpful before I had to put away my phone. She found me a seat with extra legroom, but an employee in transit took the seat (guy wearing a pilot’s uniform). Once we reached 10,000 feet I turned on the wifi on my iPhone and fortunately this flight had wifi. Being able to Tweet back and forth was great as I couldn’t make a phone call.

A few minutes later she found an open seat in the exit row in the back of the plane:



I confirmed it was indeed available and she reseated me MIDAIR.



Yes, at 35,000 or so feet in the air I was reseated on the fly (pun intended). The flight attendant asked what I was doing and I showed her the tweet. She then shared it with the rest of the flight crew. As far as I know, it was the first midair reseating via Twitter.
The were very impressed and thought I must be a celebrity or something.
I too was impressed. I’ve got a choice of whom to fly with, they always say on those announcements, along with the upsell for the frequent flyer program and credit card. Delta seemed to “get me” and is now my first choice in whom to fly with. Having a quick round the clock Twitter team shows that they understand me as a customer and my needs. At 5:00am I wasn’t going to call a phone number and wake the house. I needed a quick answer to a basic question and waiting on hold for 20 minutes or 24 hours for an email response doesn’t work. I’m sure it saves them money being able to offer such a quick reply.

Providing wifi on most flights combined with that Twitter response created an amazing customer service story about how a customer service agent went the extra mile to take care of an average customer. People make mistakes and customer service really makes the difference when they correct problems. On both legs of the flight I was taken care of exceptionally well. The quality of customer service matched its accessibility. I’m not a frequent flyer, I don’t have a high Klout score, nor am I worthy enough to have a “verified” ribbon on my Twitter account.

I’m just a guy on a quest for an exit row seat! And now I’m a Delta customer for life because not only do they understand me as a tech-savvy consumer, but they use their own tech-savvy to provide the customer service I need and expect.

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