Wednesday, 31 December 2014

On disruption and communication 2

Brighton Sea front frosted 2
I didn't anticpate quite so many examples to my December blog post on disruption and communication so soon. As a follow up I'd like to briefly mention some of these, ranging from at best inconvenient and stressful experiences to the frightening and life taking.

Taking the first and the seeming inability of the British rail system to cope with our seasons. They suffer with trust and respect as a lot of the people using the system for holiday travel are also regular commuters. Indeed my Facebook feed has a number of people complaining that they have to put up with this all year round. 

With the scenes at Finsbury Park and the snow closing Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport and Leeds Bradford International airport, it's got to have a knock on with passenger trust and with the relatively trivial nature of the impact there isn't much opportunity for the companies involved to show respect. Apart from maybe top execs giving up their bonus ...

As an aside a couple of years ago I was stuck in a similar delay to engineering works with a signal failure just outside London, it was seemingly the slowest train journey I have ever taken inching at a snails pace closer into Kings Cross. If I had known about the delays earlier then I could've stayed a bit longer with my family in Yorkshire.

At the more serious end of the scale this month was the sad news about an Indonesian AirAsia flight going missing. As the news of the disaster unfolded I was struck by the respect from both AirAsia in changing their brand logo to a muted grey version and local rivals Scoot tweeting about not running sales on the route:

In my previous article I talked about trust and, in my opinion, living and breathing respect for your customers and partners is the best way to gain that. This is a bit of an extreme example, but it also shows why operational knowledge and a human touch is needed so why I don't think automation is appropriate in social media and why it shouldn't be silo'd off. Social media should sit close enough to the action to be timely, (social!) and helpful.

While we remember those that have lost their lives we should not forget that, despite media focus due to the region's airlines involved this year, 2014 was the safest year for air travel in the modern era. Let's look forward to fewer accidents and safer flying in 2015.


Further Reading