Do Scotland’s travel companies pay attention to Social Media?

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Every day, hundreds of commuters turn to social media to engage with the travel companies getting them to and from work.  Sometimes it’s a complaint about rail delays, sometimes it’s a query regarding the bus timetable.  As social media becomes the default method of communication for so many users of public transport, we decided to test some of Scotland’s biggest travel companies, and asked the question #AreYouListening ?

In case you missed our previous challenges where we tested the UK Banks and Broadband Providers, #AreYouListening is our (not very scientific) Social Media mentions challenge – where we reach out to organisations on Twitter, not by tagging them (using their @username), but simply by mentioning them by name.

Here’s our tweets from last week which we sent to First Bus, Virgin Trains, McGills Buses, and Scotrail.

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From the 4 companies tested, only 1 replied.  The other 3 still haven’t responded, and I can only assume they don’t actually (despite their promises of first class customer service) truly listen to customers seeking help on social media.

So a big congratulations to McGills Buses (specifically to Rachel) – who replied 3 days later (and to be fair, I tweeted all the companies fairly late on the Friday) with the following message, asking me to provide more information:

travel companies on twitter

While it could maybe have been a bit quicker, they proved they actually do listen.  Nothing from Scotrail, nothing from Virgin Trains, and nothing from First Bus.  Now for a quick disclosure – I’m delighted to see McGills respond like this, because they actually attended one of our social media training workshops last year.  So to be frank – I’d bloody well expect them to monitor any company mentions and reply back, as we cover all aspects of social listening (and social customer service) on the course!

What do you think?  Are we fair to challenge companies like this?  Is it just us that think all companies (no matter the size) should monitor social media, and respond to customers even when they don’t @tag them?  Let us know by adding your comments on Social Media.


Ok – we’re taking a break (or rather – giving other companies a break!) from our #AreYouListening Challenge until after Christmas, but we’ll be back with this (and some other social secret shopper campaigns) in 2017 so watch this space, and more importantly – watch out…  It could be you!