Southwest Airlines has joined the ranks of carriers such as Atlanta-based Delta Airlines that have dedicated social media listening outposts.

Southwest Airlines stepped it up a notch, moving beyond simply a dedicated social media monitoring and customer service team.

The Dallas-based airline has brought in operational data as well, in order to engage both employees and customers in real-time. The clear open availability of operational data means that the team can more quickly adapt and respond to ongoing issues for all stakeholders.

In addition, different departments are staffing the Center. This means that communication can happen immediately across departments, such as Customer Relations, Communication and Marketing. The Listening Center also has a direct line with the airline’s Network Operations Control center, so customer feedback can be communicated directly with the core operations team as needed.

From the announcement:

It serves as the airline’s nerve center, integrating traditional media, social media, and operational data to allow various functions to move quickly and efficiently from insight to action.

The Listening Center is staffed seven days a week with Southwest Employees from the Customer Relations, Communication, and Marketing departments. The Employees are available around the clock to answer questions, engage with Customers, and share feedback across the organization to enhance the Customer experience.

Linda Rutherford, Vice President Communication & Outreach at Southwest Airlines, shared the vision behind the new operational nerve center:

The Listening Center symbolizes our commitment to listening to our internal and external Customers, and taking that feedback to make smarter business decisions. As we continue to evolve as a social business, we’ll connect with our Employees and Customers in ways that are meaningful to them.”

As far as the vendors behind the visualizations, the information is pulled in from Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud’s Radian6 Command Center and Crowd Reactive.

Original author: Nick Vivion