Love it or hate it, social media has taken hold of our society’s attention and is here to stay. We get steady streams of information from our friends, family, businesses we like, news outlets, and more. Some police departments are even going to Twitter to locate stolen bikes. Commuters and traditional news outlets are using it to share traffic information in real time.
So what can all of this mean for your commute?
Movability investigated how transportation services like CapMetro, car2go, Dadnab and others are using social media to interact with their customers. What we found might surprise you. Social media is the front line of customer service for these companies and they are using social media input to improve not only the experience of their users, but also the services provided to all customers through multiple, live streams of customer feedback. Locally, if you are user of these services, it means that you have the ability to shape commute options in Austin!
Speaking to people – find a new BFF
Social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook provide real-time, conversational feedback from those serving as the voice for Cap Metro, car2go, Zipcar, etc. A company using social media has a place for customers to connect with them immediately and without having to be put “on hold”. Providers can have an instantaneous, digital conversation with their customers and as a result can respond to questions, comments, and complaints much more quickly creating more of a personal connection.
As a customer, by having this kind of real-time conversation with an organization, you can also show your personality. You get to say what you like, what you don’t, what’s important to you, and what’s not, and it will be seen instantly. You can share pictures of your favorite bus driver, taking a car2go to a fun location, or just your smiling face cruising the RedLine, creating the basis of a lifelong friendship!
Being heard – The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Now that you’ve established a relationship with Cap Metro, car2go, etc., you can talk about more meaningfully about how awesome (or not) your commuting experience was, and actually be heard. Most importantly, you now have a voice when it comes to improving the services you use daily. Movability talked with Capital Metro, car2go, and Dadnab about improvements they have made based on customer feedback via social media. Here are a few of those stories:
Paul De Long, Chief Marketing Officer at car2go, called car2go members the, “social pulse” of their business. Adding that social media allows car2go, “to get the real time pulse status of our members’ experiences.” In fact, Paul told us that members from Seattle recently staged an online campaign to expand the home area. Car2go and the local government heard their members and updated their service accordingly…way to go, members!
Capital Metro relayed a great story about someone that notified them via Twitter about a litter problem at their bus stop. Watch how the story plays out:
“Just witnessed a @CapMetroATX rider throw a can from the bus, offer a trash can? There isn’t one at #5614.”
“@ugot2bu There’s been three incidents since service began, all in the northern part of the line.”
Capital Metro @CapMetroATX
“I’ll take note of stop mentioned &pass feedback along. ^MA”
Capital Metro @CapMetroATX
“@staceykface In response to your tweet from last week, we’ve installed a trash bin at Stop #5614. Just wanted to give you the news! ^MA”
“@CapMetroATX that’s great news! Thanks for letting me know!”
Alex Stivers @AlexStivers
“Just witnessed a great example of a ‘social media WIN,’ courtesy of @staceykface and @CapMetroATX! New trash bin installed at bus stop. :-)”
And just like that, the problem is solved. Thanks to a caring commuter and a transit agency that was listening, a bus stop is improved and can now be a more inviting place for future users.
Customers now expect, and rightly so, timely updates on any disruptions to service. Twitter and Facebook make reaching users quick and easy. Providers can let customers knows about issues before they become a problem and they can plan accordingly. CapMetro even has Twitter accounts just for these situations.
They’ll let you know when services are disrupted:
And they let you know when everything is back on track:
Getting the Word Out
Gone are the days of trying to reach you via a radio ad, television ad, or billboard and hoping that the right people were paying attention at just the right time. Because you have selected to interact with options providers, you now get timely and targeted information about any service changes.
If you are a CapMetro rider, be sure to follow the official CapMetro Twitter feed so you’ll never be in the dark: @CapMetroATX. Also, an ingenious CapMetro customer has setup the following Twitter feeds for CapMetro alerts @MetroBusAlert @MetroRailAlert.