Alaska Airlines begins customer service via text message

Alaska Airlines begins customer service via text message

A new feature from Alaska Airlines may soon put an end to time wasted on the phone waiting for travel help and text message instead. Fliers can message to connect with a customer service representative for answers to simple travel questions.

An estimated 70 percent of people who contact Alaska are using a mobile device, according to the airline. Of the calls that are made to the airline, Alaska believes 40 percent of them could be handled through text messages.

In the US only Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Air now offer the option to connect with airline customer service representatives over text, but nearly all provide some level of customer support through Twitter and Facebook Messenger. (Hawaiian launched its service in August.)

The help you can get via text includes: flight delays and schedule changes, emotional or service support animal requests, seat assignments, upgrades, requesting accessible travel services and questions about the Alaska frequent flier program, Mileage Plan

We’re told text message customer service can’t help with making new reservations, voluntary flight changes and cancellations, paid seat upgrades, and enrolling in Mileage Plan if you don’t have an upcoming reservation.

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5 Keys to Phone Manners

5 Keys to Phone Manners

Win Your Clients Over Every Time

  1. Be a first responder

First things first, you’ve got answer incoming calls quickly so potential new clients don’t go elsewhere!

  1. Be Approachable & Smile

Take a deep breath and answer with a friendly tone of voice no matter what’s really going on or how you truly feel. Next, be sure to smile. When you smile your voice becomes approachable and kinder. It’ll make you sound friendlier.

  1. Address Clients By Name

Ask for the caller’s name and be sure to use it. Once you’ve heard the name of the person calling, use their name to reassure them that you’re listening and paying attention just to them at this moment! It’s a simply trick, but inspires confidence that you truly are listening – for example, “Hi Susan, let me see if Dmitri is free, so glad you called Susan!”   It’s the little things that people remember and calling someone by name is the easiest way to make a connection.

  1. Listen first, then Speak

Put yourself in the callers shoes, when you call, you have something you are looking to accomplish – ask a question, book an appointment, cancel an appointment, learn about a new style, etc. Give callers a chance to express their needs, then take time to thoughtfully address. Don’t shy from listening, you’ll learn so much and callers feel validated and it builds trust immediately.

  1. Always Get The Client’s Details

Don’t let it slip! As simple as it sounds, be sure to capture everything – just jot it down. You need to make sure you have the correct information to refer back to if someone needs it or if you’re sending out a follow up note or marketing emails, for instance. The more information you have on people, the better opportunity you have to deliver a personalized experience that keeps them coming back!

Good luck and thanks for reading!