Via PR Daily: Kill ’em with Kindness

Here’s how Southwest responds to critics on Twitter

As you’ve probably heard, Southwest Airlines is revamping its Rapid Rewards program. “The changes sweeten the rewards for people who pay more for tickets, since the points earned are directly linked to the ticket price,” The Dallas Morning News explained. As you might imagine, the changes irked some people and pleased others. One Twitter user with about 100 followers offered this tweet: “Wow. Epic marketing #fail by @SouthwestAir … announce big changes to their ‘mileage program’ via Twitter and aren’t responding to tweets.” Southwest’s reaction to the Twitter user? “Hey did you have a question about the new program? I’m happy to help!” The conversation became more civil after that. Two lessons from the exchange: Doesn’t matter how many followers your critics have, pay attention; engaging — not ignoring — your critics can be the best practice (though not always the best practice).

What a wonderful story about diffusing a potential situation!


(1) Listening

(2) Ability to respond

(3) Kindness

Can you listen? Can you respond? Are you kind? I would argue that the only thing keeping your agency from doing what Southwest did is rules and availability; rules not allowing monitors (if you can afford them) from fixing a situation before it blows up. And that’s easily fixable.

Have a great weekend, folks.