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Lithys 2018: Flybe - Sitel - Social Support Champion

Lithys 2018: Flybe - Sitel - Social Support Champion


Company: Flybe - Sitel

Company background: The Flybe Social Media team was created in September 2014 initially starting off with an emergency team of 8 people. Prior to this Flybe managed Social Media in house with the marketing team. As the volumes were very low there wasn’t a team dedicated to servicing customers through this channel. As Flybe started to increase their social media presence and marketing activity, the inbound volumes started to grow rapidly and therefore they reached out to Sitel for support. At the time the team was using Conversocial as the platform and this was passed to us. We utilised 8 of our current agents from a different team, taught them how to use conversocial and went live straight away with a temporary solution. As we began to track the volumes, handle times and customer behaviour, a permanent team was sized at 14 FTE with the opening hours from 6am to 10pm Mon-Fri and 8am-10pm on weekends, this team went live in January 2015. The team respond to all posts received through the twitter and facebook channels. During this time we also started negotiations to look at a new platform to work from. With all other lines of business we were able to pull details reporting to gain insight to the customer need, reasons for contact and make business changes to deflect volume and improve customer service. Conversocial was fit for purpose for responding to customers in a timely fashion however the reporting was not sufficient and we needed a platform to bring this in line with the other lines of business. Lithium was chosen as the replacement due to the detailed analytics along with the proficient response to the customer. Since implementing this tool we have been able to enhance the reporting to Flybe and provide volumes of contact types which have helped lead to changes in policy, process or wording on the website to enhance the customer service.

Contact: Emma Baker

Title: Operations Manager

Related URLs:

Lithy category: Social Support Champion

Category Descriptions & Questions

 What were your organization’s social customer service initiatives in 2017-2018?

 During the later part 2017-2018 we have had the launch of Flybe’s new branding ‘Close to You’ the focus has been on customer retention, in terms of the experience they are having from start to finish with Flybe, and to provide a more aligned approach across all channels including Customer Service and Marketing which has been our focus. When the new Flybe CEO joined in January 2017 she felt Flybe didn’t have a strong enough presence on Social Media or brand. This has been developed and enhanced by stronger collaboration with the marketing team. Weekly calls are held with Social Media manager and marketing to understand where their focuses are, what ideas themes and strategies are coming up so the social team are always in line with what Flybe are trying to achieve.

With the use of Lithium, all posts are organised in a priority order, key words are set against certain types of posts and anything valued as P1 will come to the top of the list for the team to action next. The work closely with all other customer facing teams as all are based in Sitel, therefore any cases that are outstanding with other teams, the Social Media team can access and update with comments made over Social Media. They can also ensure these cases are prioritised in other teams to get a quicker response. They also work closely with the Flybe Operations team to get updates on flight information so they can inform the customer with the most up to date information about any delayed or cancelled flights as this is the bulk of the volume. The team are focused heavily on increasing engagement over social media and building rapport, they now respond to all comments made on marketing and brand posts that Flybe put out, to build more positive traction on our social pages.

The persona is now in line with Flybe’s tone of voice and branding – Confident, Caring, Down to earth and Informed. The team are always striving to build a good relationship with customers through relaxed conversation whilst remaining professional and informative at all times. Here is an example of this that was recently published in the Sun

They are working to use this tone of voice to influence the users to gain more positive traction and customer retention. Through this they are helping to enhance the Flybe brand, image, reputation and loyalty from customers.

Tags and sentiments are used to track the customers use of the channels and understand the reasons for contact. We also monitor trends on the gender, age range and timings of posts to understand who is best to target in marketing posts and which channel is better for certain activity. We know that facebook is the better channel to utilise for competitions, activities and positive marketing as it gains more traction and volume on this channel. Twitter is used more for short conversations mainly around disruption or complaints so is the best channel to put out information and be reactive to questions and issues we need to resolve.


The Social Media team now aim to respond to all posts through Lithium from Facebook and Twitter. They respond to all direct messages as well as posts @Flybe or on Flybe’s page. We have also recently changed the way we work with Twitter, if the word Flybe is used in anyone’s tweet, we can see it and respond. We proactively reach out to customers to help even if not tweeting directly to us. When customers complain to a competitor, we can respond proactively and use to our advantage to enhance customer base and loyalty.

What was the most important customer issue you were looking to solve via your digital technology (e.g. community and/or social media management platform)? What makes your approach to customer satisfaction a gold standard in the industry? Our main focus has been on the new branding of Flybe as a brand. We have really focused on this development particularly on Social Media as discussed earlier. As a whole Flybe Social Media has seen huge transition and development across the course of the last 4 years, which has developed further during the later part of 2017/2018. From no team at all being looked at occasionally by marketing in house, to a team of 14 dedicated agents servicing customers through this channel to be more reactive and modernising Flybe’s customer service. The improvements made to real time updates and better customer service when a customer is just at the airport and wants to know why their flight is delayed, to sharing love stories of people who have met onboard a Flybe aircraft or use Flybe services to see each other. It has opened Flybe to a whole new way of working and brought them into a more personal, proactive airline who customers feel they can reach out to. The opening hours of social media mean that customers have a method of contact to Flybe from 6am-10pm enhancing the customer experience and improving their loyalty with us. This year in particular Flybe are moving over to a new booking system to really enhance the digitial experiencee for their customers. By the reporting we have gathered from Lithium this has really allowed us to provide valuable feedback to Flybe from anything in terms of website errors which we can now report and solve in a much quicker time period as well as managing distruption. The main customer issue we are looking to resolve is distrupted passengers in particular, we have an out of hours channel to allow us to be proactive and continue to manage these customers exceptions whichh the team have managed to really excel in within the last year. The alignment of the new branding and guidelines has allowed the team to become confident in their voice and overall allow us quickly handle customers’ expectations during times of disruption.The level of data and reporting enhances the customer voice and provides an additional side of the story when added to all other lines of business contact volumes and reasons. It also provides a voice whilst customers are in the middle of their Flybe experience as they contact during their time at the airports rather than solely having the before and after flight knowledge. Enhancements have been made to the Flybe website from wording to layout to functionality all from the feedback and data we have provided. Flybe couldn’t be without their social media channel now and it provides and integral part of their business. 

Please share customer satisfaction metrics, both qualitative and quantitative, as well as agent and response time metrics (e.g. CSAT, decreased customer complaints, call deflections, agent SLA, manual processes eliminated)

As the team are mainly customer service focused, their KPI’s are based on this.

  • 15 minute Response time
  • 80% in 15 mins SLA – Consistently achieved in last 12 months with exception of when volumes came in above 110% of forecast.
  • Team size increased in April 2018 from 11 to 14FTE to handle increased volume down to improved marketing activity
  • Quality 80% minimum which all surrounds ‘Think Public’ and ‘Confident, Caring, Down to Earth and Informed’.
  • Minimum 80% quality achieved consistently for 12 months.

Tags and sentiments are tracked every month to manage the volumes and see what is driving the activity. This is reported to Flybe monthly and if any trends are noticed actions may be taken to amend certain things off the back of it. One example would be the way we react to mass disruption on social media. At the end of February 2018 we were hit with snow which grounded many aircraft and led to 700 cancelled flights in 1 day, plus many more due to the knock on effect. We then had another batch of snow towards the end of March again cancelling many flights. Due to feedback from the first instance with the cancelled flights not being updated quick enough on social media and the customers wanting answers sooner, we reacted much better the second time around and therefore reduced the overall inbound volume coming in compared to the first instance.


Process changes can also come off the back of social media complaints and trends such as complaints around the Flybe website. We have reported the volume of website issues to the client along with the volumes from all other lines of business. This reporting has been fundamental in leading Flybe to make the decision to change their main booking system and therefore aiming to fix all the issues with the Flybe website. This project is taking place this year.


Smart views have been developed to track trends and behaviors. They can track real time activity to understand contact drivers and analyse trends, or can look back historically to understand contact volume drivers and peaks and troughs in behaviors. Tag and keywords can be added to retrospectively track all conversations had around a particular subject for example Snow in March or BE313 as an example flight number which had an emergency landing. This can also help to track the volume and success of a particular marketing post or competition. Different work queues can be set up to manage crisis management, this can priorities a certain subject or separate a subject to ensure the general public get a quicker response and not be impacted by a large volume of posts for a specific topic.