Monarch Airlines Plane

Monarch has been operating out of the UK since 1968. By positioning exceptional customer service at the center of its business, the airline has built and maintained a thriving community of loyalists. While Monarch’s mission has remained consistent for almost 50 years, the way in which it facilitates and measures business objectives has evolved.

In 2015 Monarch switched from a competitor to Sprout Social for Sprout’s Twitter CRM capabilities. Within a year, the carrier was enabled with the tools it needed to execute, support and quantify a cross-functional social customer care strategy centered around personal communication.

Naomi Bressan, Social Media and Content Executive at Monarch, explained how Sprout’s CRM empowered the airline’s customer service team to decrease reply thread size by 11%, increase received Twitter DMs by 37% and quantify individual and team efforts with Net Promoter® Score (NPS) reporting.

Structuring the Team for Success

With two teams of 12 customer care agents split across multiple locations, the power to collaborate is pertinent to Monarch’s success.

Sprout’s unified, single-feed inbox aggregates inbound messages and comments from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

“The great thing about Sprout is that you’ve got one feed that the entire team can activate. Straight away you get big black numbers that appear down the right hand side of the platform that show you how many messages you’ve got,” said Bressan.

When you have 24 agents in one social media management tool, workflow overlap is a major concern. That’s why user-level permissions and collision detection features are crucial. Monarch relies on Sprout for permissions settings configured for publishing, reporting, inbox and admin access to minimize duplicative efforts.

Each of Monarch’s teams is responsible for a specific segment of the airline’s business–holidays, which consists of packaged travel deals or flights. To streamline responsibilities and ensure accurate communication across segments, Monarch turns to Sprout’s Tasks. This feature enables the brand to route inbound social messages to the agent or team that is best equipped to handle them, directly from the Smart Inbox.

Task Performance by Team Member

Within the Smart Inbox, agents are able to filter between social networks and brand keywords to narrow in on the information they need. And, real-time updates inform the team of read messages and responses, so there’s no stepping on toes. This is particularly useful for both of Monarch’s customer care divisions, who focus most of their attention on Twitter.

Doubling Down on Twitter

Twitter’s internal data revealed that, when compared to other customer care channels, Twitter decreases the cost per customer care resolution by 80%. This, coupled with the fact that the majority of business and leisure airline passengers are looking for immediacy, individualism and inspiration along their path to purchase, makes Twitter an integral part of an airline’s customer service business.

On Twitter, those three i’s of immediacy, individualism and inspiration thrive. The platform is a natural conversation hub and often the go-to source for passengers looking for information or in need of an immediate response.

We tweak our planned content depending on our audience and those audience insights come from Sprout.

Naomi Bressan
Social Media and Content Executive

To accommodate the wants and expectations of their customers, Monarch has adopted a twofold strategy that focuses on proactive and reactive customer care. Proactive, planned content is meant to inspire and educate while reactive, real-time conversations are aimed at relationship building through quick, accurate responses.

Monarch’s proactive Twitter strategy relies on the demographic learnings from Sprout’s reporting tools to remain agile and relevant.

“We tweak our planned content depending on our audience and those audience insights come from Sprout,” said Bressan.

When it comes to real-time customer care, building a personal repertoire and assisting customers in a timely manner is essential. Customer care agents start each shift by Tweeting who they are and how long they’ll be assisting customers.

“We want to make our Twitter interactions exactly the same as if you were getting onto an aircraft and got to know the cabin crew manager,” said Bressan.

Accommodating a customer’s real-time needs requires that agents are equipped with tools that allow them to connect consumer data sets across multiple touch points and efficiently manage multiple workflows and simultaneous conversations.

Sprout’s conversation history equips agents with the context they need to pick a conversation up right where it was left off. While the platform’s streamlined Smart Inbox has helped Monarch decrease reply thread size by 11% within eight months. Most importantly, Sprout’s robust Twitter integration tools have made it easier for Monarch’s team to keep customer care exchanges contained to one communication channel.

Keeping the Conversation in One Place

A study conducted by Twitter, in partnership with Applied Marketing Science, revealed that customers who receive a response from an airline inquiry on Twitter are willing to spend approximately $9.00 more with that company. For Monarch, that means money. In 2016, Monarch publicly interacted with 20,342 unique users on Twitter–giving the airlines the potential to increase its yearly revenue by $183,078.

Sprout makes our workflow succinct and our agents’ lives easier. This ease is reflected onto the customer experience.

Naomi Bressan
Social Media and Content Executive

But what happens when passengers are Tweeting questions with answers that rely on sensitive information? How can airlines keep the conversation on Twitter when it will likely progress to confidential details?

Twitter’s Direct Message feature provides the answer – provided users know how to access it. In the UK, 92% of leisure travelers and 89% of business travelers may be using the internet to purchase flights but that doesn’t mean they’re Twitter literate. When it comes to providing the best possible customer care, education is key.

When interactions start to move towards collecting sensitive information, agents direct customers to Twitter’s private message functionality with Twitter DM Deep Links. This enables customers to send a Direct Message to Monarch without leaving the original tweet:

Twitter DM Deep Link Example

“Previously, we would tell customers to DM us their details. They’d ask, what’s DM? Where do I find it? What do I have to click on?” said Bressan. “They would not have a clue where to begin.”

Twitter DM Deep Links let Monarch provide frictionless customer service.

“The fact that we’re providing the DM Deep Link makes that process so much smoother. It goes back to the customer experience–making it easier and more friendly,” said Bressan.

When a customer care agent prompts a Twitter DM Deep Link, their workflow isn’t interrupted. Twitter DM Deep Links are initiated directly from Sprout and responses are pulled into the Smart Inbox.

“Sprout makes our workflow succinct and our agents’ lives easier. This ease is reflected onto the customer experience,” said Bressan.

Since enabling Twitter DM Deep Links in Sprout, Monarch has experienced a 37% increase in DMs, allowing them to help more customers, more efficiently. Which, according to Twitter, is significantly higher than DM Deep Link’s average 30% Tweet-to-Direct Message conversion rate.

The board is seeing statistics that they’ve never seen before. Sprout’s reports have completely changed our team leaders’ view of social.

Naomi Bressan
Social Media and Content Executive

Raising the Profile of Social Within the Business

Whether it’s the staff’s willingness to create a familial environment aboard its aircrafts or a personalized response to a customer’s social inquiry, Monarch understands there’s ROI in relationship building.

“Our main ROI is around engagement. That’s our key measure. That’s what the business looks at for us,” said Bressan.

As Monarch’s social customer care strategy has matured, the goal of raising the profile of social throughout the business has progressed. On a weekly basis, Bressan collects key social metrics from Sprout’s reports and presents a broader business story.

“The board is seeing statistics that they’ve never seen before. Sprout’s reports have completely changed our team leaders’ view of social,” said Bressan.

Special attention is given to Sprout’s Team and Twitter Feedback Reports which highlight response time and individual and team Net Promoter® Scores (NPS)–a methodology used to gauge customer loyalty.

“We need to make sure that our response time is as quick as it can be. That’s something we weren’t able to measure before Sprout,” said Bressan.

For airlines in particular, a quicker response time doesn’t only improve loyalty–it drives sales. Twitter, in partnership with Applied Marketing Science, found that revenue potential for airlines increases by 8.5x when agents respond to a customer Tweet in less than six minutes. Monarch monitors and reports on its response time holistically and on an individual basis, making it easier for leaders to assign specific KPIs to agents. As of December 2016, the airline’s average fastest response time was 2 minutes.

A consistent workflow across individuals, teams and locations is just as important as constant benchmarks and metrics across channels. Twitter’s Customer Feedback lets agents deliver simple, effective feedback request forms within a Direct Message. This information is collected, quantified and standardized using a Net Promoter® Score (NPS).

Twitter Feedback Report

“Twitter NPS is amazing because our Customer Insights team is already using that system to measure customer satisfaction. Now, we can really start to measure social care and benchmark Twitter against our other channels,” said Bressan.

Just like DM Deep Links, Twitter’s Customer Feedback is initiated directly from Sprout, so there’s no toggling between an agent’s existing workflow and the native network.

Twitter Feedback Example

Sprout’s Twitter Feedback Report aggregates data from Customer Feedback to provide a cohesive view of completion rate, free form comments, and individual and holistic NPS averages.

Today, Monarch reports an 8.8 out of 10 average customer satisfaction rating which correlates to an outstanding 50 NPS score. In addition, 40% of Customer Feedback respondents even include a free form response–a number that’s 20 percentage points higher than Twitter’s average 20% comment response rate. Proving to board members that airline customers aren’t only present on Twitter, they’re engaged.

Monarch Twitter Feedback Report

Monarch has been able to benchmark its Twitter NPS learnings against the NPS averages of its other customer care channels such as email and live chat. These consistent, standardized metrics have helped secure buy in for social customer care from senior leaders.

Prepared for Takeoff

From succinct workflow management to streamlined communication and consistent reporting benchmarks, Sprout’s Twitter CRM tools have prepared Monarch for takeoff. These features have provided the airline with the data it needs to convince leadership that doubling down on Twitter and focusing on personalized engagement does in fact result in ROI.

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