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United Breaks Guitar

Submitted by: Group 6

Anindya Bhadra (09IB-005)
Bhaskar Mehta (09IB-013)
Bhuvan Mudgal (09IB-014)
Geetika Munjal (09IB-023)
Jasjit Banga (09IB-028)
Manik Bhalla (09IB-030)
Nikhil Roongta (09IB-033)
Rohan Agarwal (09IB-047)
About United Airlines
• One of the largest international airlines in
• Has over 3,300 flights per day
• 50,000 employees and 360 aircrafts
• United Airlines flies to 73 domestic
destinations and 41 international
destinations in 25 countries across
Asia, Americas, Europe, Oceania, and
• In May 2010, the board finalised the
merger of Continental Airlines and
United Airlines making them world's
The Incident
The Incident (contd.)
The Incident (contd.)
UNITED’s Online Presence
• United had a presence on in both online
and social media.
• In micro-blogging site Twitter, they had
approximately 18000 followers
• Tweeted two to three times a day
• Gave away information useful to travelers
like airfare deals and system disruptions
• Employees were encourage to monitor
social media

Responses of United Airlines
Date & Situation Action Response on Twitter
July 7, Tweet from Robin Urbanski “This has struck a
12:00 Carroll’s made a call to chord with us and
PM Friend Carroll after we’ve contacted
“psssst..@Unit approval from Rob them directly to
July7, 1 Taunts from They
ed Airlines decided
Bradford. not to
Carroll not No response
make it right”
PM to 10 some
breaksof respond
availableon Twitter
PM Carroll’s
July 8 Carroll was called Many Responses,
and compensation given on next slide.
was offered.
Septembe Face to face meeting
r 14 between United
Airlines and Dave
Responses from United
Did the Airline handle the
incident well?
“Negative buzz about your
company is not something to
be squelched but rather an
opportunity to regain control of
the agenda.”
United’s Mistake
• Issued a sincere apology, sprinkled in some humor, and
even came out and said that they wanted to use this
video for Training Purposes
• United was selective in the type of media they used to
respond to the incident.
• While they answered journalist queries, they did not
address it on its website or on its You tube channel
• Next day another video was updated on YouTube with
Carroll acknowledging the apology but only 200,000
people viewed it which was actually only 5% of the
people watching the other one
• Should have issued their own humorous You Tube response
• The airline’s belated decision to donate $3,000 to the
Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz as a gesture of goodwill
(Carroll said he was beyond the point of accepting
money) did nothing to contain the damage.
Moral of the story

“It is possible to rescue a damaged

corporate reputation, but only if the

company engages with Social Media
as a form of response”

Service recovery
• A problem resolved within a reasonable time, together with
information on how the failure occurred and what is
being done to make sure it doesn’t recur
• Successful service recovery requires
– empowered employees
– a strong customer orientation
– celebrating success stories
– systematic data collection
– meaningful incentives to encourage such behaviour

It sh o u ld b e in visib le . N o m a tte r w h a t m e th o d o f se rvice re co ve ry
yo u ch o o se , it is critica l th a t yo u p re se n t in su ch a w a y th a t it is
n o t o b vio u s to th e cu sto m e r th a t yo u a re d o in g th is ju st to re ta in
th e m a s cu sto m e rs. W h ile so m e w ill se e th ro u g h yo u r m e th o d s,
m o st w ill b e h a p p y to b e tre a te d w ith re sp e ct a n d d ig n ity !
The ideal response

En om
co pla te
ur in ua
a g ts

e e
an Ad ons

Tr id ati
ack r ov lan
P xp

Fail-safe Recovery Treat Customers
the Service Fairly

w ulti
ith va
C te
st us R
Lo to ela
Learn from Recovery

m m ti
er on
fro ers s s
ar om ps
Le ust
Why so many views for
the video
Some interesting facts
• Approximately 15-16% of Tweets about United Breaks
Guitars were retweeted, compared to a Twitter
average of approximately 9%.
• 86% of Tweets about United Breaks Guitars referenced
web addresses, compared to a Twitter average of
approximately 40%.
• The top tweeters pertaining to United Breaks
Guitars for the month of July
were GuitarForever(129), GuitarSafes (50),
and jenghauser (30).
• The top 3 user handles that tweeted about the
incident for the month of July
were mashable(1,080,653), adventuregirl (800,2
29), and zoecello (697,603).
• The top 3 user handles that were retweeted the most
were mashable (121), DaveCarroll (28),
and shelisrael (25).
• Total number of online news stories for the month of
Some interesting facts
• Total number of blog postings pertaining to United
Breaks Guitars for the month of July: 1,662.
• Total number of tweets pertaining to United Breaks
Guitars for the month of July: 5,980.
• For the month of July, next to the actual link to the
YouTube video, the link to the mashable blog was
the most referenced with 271.
• The most referenced hash tag or group was united.
• The top three mentioned words were united, breaks,
and guitars.
• Total amount of views for United Breaks Guitars for the
month of July: 4,524,334.
• The United Breaks Guitars issue represented 42% of
all online news for United Airlines for the month of
The graph shows the different media and how they could be potentially influencing each other
and driving traffic to the YouTube video. Notice how blogs tend to be the early influencers.
However, traditional media, in this case represented by online news, seems to have a more
profound influence both on Twitter and in driving traffic to YouTube. That said, it is
possible that even though online news is influencing Twitter, Twitter in turn could be
influencing YouTube through posted links. It should also be noted on the chart that clearly
online news from the UK and Ireland around July 23 had an effect on Twitter. Again, this was
backed up by the volume of posted links originating from UK sites in Twitter. Furthermore,
views on YouTube also increased around this time.
Viral Marketing
“ It's b e e n sa id th a t in th e • Technology has reached a point where
‘ old days ’( maybe only a everyone has a voice. This voice,
d e ca d e a g o ) th a t p e o p le articulated through social media, can
w h o h a d a p o sitive be extremely powerful and can force
cu sto m e r se rvice individuals, companies and
exp e rie n ce w o u ld sh a re communities to change the way they
th a t w ith th re e p e o p le . If behave.
th e y h a d a b a d • It is not who is influential that counts but
exp e rie n ce , th e y w o u ld who acts as a catalyst for
te ll1 4 . C le a rly , b a d n e w s conversation – Keith O’Brien
tra ve ls fa ste st a n d th a t • Calculating an individual’s online
h a sn 't ch a n g e d . B u t to d a y , influence is becoming more
so cia lm e d ia to o ls like important each year as people seek
Fa ce b o o k , Tw itte r, advice from their peers on the
M yS p a ce a n d Yo u Tu b e Internet regarding what they should
e n su re th a t n e w s tra ve ls think, buy and say.
exp o n e n tia lly ” • The Social Media Index is a model, which
- Dave Caroll recognises and attempts to quantify
the impact and influence of multiple
social media tools.

Strategies for Corporate
Route to Successful Customer
 According to the latest survey from 
Opinion Research Corporation, a large proportion,
84%, said that browsing reviews influenced their
decision on whether or not to purchase a product or
 Hence, reach out to those who have had a bad
experience and ask for a second chance.
 Rather than taking a reactive approach to ratings and
reviews, be an active participant in the online
consumer dialogue
 Encourage your customers to review your business.
 The more positive comments prospective customers
read about your business, the less influence any
negative reviews will have.
Route to Successful Customer
 Two words that should never be used in customer
service- Statistical Insignificance.

 The vision of “mostly right, most of the time” has

changed to “get it right every time”

 Their philosophy starts with the fact that all customers

deserve a positive experience -- not most
customers, but every one of them
Measuring Social Media
Communication Collaboration
Communication Collaboration
 Currently, most marketing communication programmes sit in on the left
hand side of this matrix.
 However, as companies and organisations become more aware of the
tenor of each venue and what works, they will begin to mix in
strategies and tactics from the right side.
 As a result, the outcome is that programmes on the left will measure
online influence through metrics like impressions, conversations, in-
bound links, friends and more.
 Meanwhile, the right hand side - particularly Conversational Collaborative
programmes - will adopt entirely new methodologies that measure
based on outcomes.
 For example, this could include ideas generated, donations or other
means of measuring advocacy and so forth.
 The future of communications is in the mixing of these quadrants and
understanding how they work together to influence the public.
Steps for Online Reputation
Behavior for employees
handling customers

 Acknowledgement - Acknowledging that a problem has

 Empathy - Understanding the problem from a customer’s
point of view
 Apology - Saying sorry
 Own the problem - Taking ownership of the customer and
the issue
 Fix the problem - Fixing, or at least trying to fix the
problem for the customer
 Provide assurance - Providing assurance that the problem
has been/will be sorted and should not occur again
 Provide compensation - Providing a refund, and/or a
token and/or compensation, depending on the severity of
the problem