Transport for London (TfL) leads the way when it comes to using social media as a platform to inform customers. Last week, they announced their Twitter account will now alert users of any maintenance routes.
The handle, @TfLTravelAlerts, will send a direct message to subscribers on Thursday afternoons, advising customers which routes may be unavailable due to maintenance or other events.
The account will enable users to tailor their alerts to their specific needs, and will only be made aware of changes that affect their commute. This signals a continuation of TfL’s partnership with Twitter as they aim to connect with consumers on concerns that directly impact them.
On TfL’s blog, the transport agency stated:
“In partnership with Twitter, we looked at the most popular questions our followers ask us and developed ideas which could help customers proactively, and in a way that will be as useful and easy to digest as possible.”
TfL continues to ensure their services meet the demands of customers, revealing the importance of social media to communicate with their audience.
In an interview with Tech Exec. earlier this year, TfL’s Marketing Director, Chris Macleod shared their reach via data and social media platforms:
“We power 400 apps – and that’s just transport data – and that’s what I mean when I talk about ‘reach’; we have 3 million people on social media.”
The latest development will allow this ‘reach’ to be applied to personalised alerts.
Macleod identified the significance of integrating the use of big data and social media, as the accessibility of the Twitter platform allows access to relevant alerts for customers immediately. As an estimate, Macleod believes a strategy that incorporates this could save the organisation £50-60 million annually.
Utilising the data to provide a better service for their customers is a significant part of TfL’s primary goal for every individual.
One of the challenges in reaching customers is that they regularly find themselves contending with multiple sources of entertainment, as Macleod explained:
“I am not trying to compete with someone else for your attention… I am competing with everyone and everything since you are probably more interested in reading about sport!”
The partnership conveys the importance of personalisation and being accessible through multiple channels.