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.

Read more here



Getting more from Facebook Ads

Getting more from Facebook Ads

Facebook, even for all its faults with data privacy, is one the most amazing ways to target specific locations and interests! Ads on Facebook can be targeted to specific locations, demographics and individual passions. What this means for you is that your advertising dollars have a better chance of reaching the right people in the right location who care about what you have to say!

Get Hyper Focused – Target Your Neighborhood 

Social media and local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can work together to help you drive even more of the right people to see you and what you offer. For example, when you run Facebook ads for a certain neighborhood, they will help establish your business as a leading provider in that geographic location.

If you run Facebook ads for a year that use keyword variations including “Stylist West Hollywood” or “West Hollywood Stylist” this will send a message to Google about what you specialize in. Over time, your company’s name will show up higher in Google results when people type in “West Hollywood Stylist.”

Spread the Joy – Share a Coupon

Who doesn’t love a deal? Even better if it’s for the massage therapist around the corner! Everyone loves shopping local and supporting people in the community and sharing a coupon helps to drive immediate action.

Since sharing a photo of a coupon will only go so far, we recommend sharing your discount via Facebook’s advanced targeting options. These allow you to promote your coupon to a specific audience based on the demographics you describe. After a few tests, you can view the analytics to learn which audiences are most receptive to the discounts.


Kickstart Your Local Marketing

Kickstart Your Local Marketing

When you set out to market yourself and your business it feels like there’s a never-ending list of options and it’s hard to choose the right ones that are a fit for you locally.

How to Kickstart Your Local Marketing

We’ve outlined some tips to help small businesses get the right marketing out in the community for maximum impact.

Think Local

I’m certain that most of your current and future customers live within a 10-mile radius of where you work. So, before you start investing in ads on social networks like Facebook and Instagram, you need to get a great understanding of what your customers like and need.

Creating content on social media will help you figure out what’s the most interesting for your audience.

Not sure about which content you should post or where it should be promoted, here are three simple, but solid suggestions for both Facebook and Instagram.

  1. Build a Local Guide

Taking advantage local interests and events is a big part of local marketing. To do so, you have to think about your customers as part of the local community and as individuals as well. Where do they go on days off? How do they choose to unwind at the end of day? Which local spot is the best for watching ‘the game’? Creating a guide to your town, especially if it’s something like ‘The Top 5 Places Locals Choose for Happy Hour’ helps you see how you show how people behave locally and will give you ideas of how your services and your business fit in. If you in the beauty industry, you can tie your services in as you want to make sure people look there best for a night out! This is just the kind of information that is clickable & shareable on Facebook and Instagram.

  1. Start a Giveaway

Everyone loves FREE stuff! And, giveaways are easy ways to generate interest and engagement.

A great way to increase value beyond your own business and extend the power of your giveaway is to partner with some other local businesses. How great of a gift is a one hour Massage and a new Haircut – Feel Good, Look Better! When you work with another business you can reach into new groups of potential customers who might not know you yet!

Giveaways also give you a chance to collect and build a list of prospects for future communications and marketing. Collect emails and phone numbers for everyone who enters!

  1. Sponsor a Local Event

When you’re putting efforts towards local marketing, every minute and cent counts towards your bottom line. Sponsoring a local event is a simple effort that yields a big return on your investment.

Whether its a charity run, a school fundraiser or a county-wide bake-off, every community has its fare share of local events. Signing up to sponsor a festival or event can help you boost your brand ethos and increase awareness amongst new, qualified audience members near you.

If you’re not sure how sponsorships tie into your sales goals, consider how the event can leave customers intrigued and wanting more. For example, sponsorship will usually get you a branded table at the event. View this as an opportunity to share information about your brand, give out free samples, and ask for email sign ups. All of these things establish a memorable connection in consumer minds between the event, your brand, and what you offer.


10 Texting Statistics You Need to Know

10 Texting Statistics You Need to Know

1. Texts have a 99% open rate. (SinglePoint)

2. 95% of texts will be read within 3 minutes of being sent. (Forbes)

3. The average adult spends 23 hours a week texting. (USA Today)

4. Only 48% of businesses are currently equipped to handle any form of messaging. (Twilio)

5. 89% of consumers want to use messaging to communicate with businesses. (Twilio)

6. 61% of businesses wish they could send and receive texts from a business number. (RingCentral)

7. People prefer text most for scheduling or changing appointments, and making or confirming reservations (Harris)

8. Texting is highest rated contact method for customer satisfaction when compared to other communication channels (Text – 90%; Phone – 77%).(eWeek)

9. Texting in the sales process with a qualified lead can increase conversions over 100% (Velocify)

10. 64% of consumers are likely to have a positive perception of companies that offer communication via text (Harris)

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!