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Small acts of kindness are adding a personalized touch to service recovery as Delta teams worked to restore operations to normal and care for customers following an outage Monday that disrupted the airline’s flight schedule, causing delays and cancellations.

Social media, along with insight from employees on the frontline, gave the airline a real-time look at customer frustrations and created an opportunity for a creative approach to service recovery. While the airline couldn't respond to everyone, teams were reaching out with a personalized touch when possible.

“These acts from the hearts and minds of Delta people convey the level of care employees have shown throughout the recovery process,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “One step at a time, we will make this right for customers and reinforce why they chose Delta in the first place.”

A Delta customer, Rachel, sent this tweet on Monday afternoon:

Customer tweet

Delta’s social media team used it as an opportunity for service recovery by sending Rachel a $25 Starbucks e-giftcard with a personal note:

“Rachel - We apologize for the inconveniences with your travel. After seeing your tweet, we agree you need a cup of coffee.  Enjoy this one on your friends @Delta”

Customer response tweet

But delays and cancellations can affect those who aren’t traveling as well. Brian, shared this tweet while delayed on Monday:

Customer tweet 2

The social team sent a flower arrangement to Brian’s wife, Cara, with the following note:

“We know delays affect more than just the person traveling. Brian thought you deserved flowers, and we couldn’t agree more. Thanks to you and your family for flying with us. Your friends at @Delta.”

Tweet after outage

Examples of thoughtful customer service were many. 

Another customer was delayed in San Antonio and missed his daughter’s first day of school. Teams reached out by sending a fruit flower arrangement and a thoughtful note:

“Addison, we are so sorry that your daddy missed your big day.We hope you have a great year in Kindergarten! From your friends at Delta.”

Delta said that while the social media team could not respond to every tweet, these small, thoughtful gestures can help make a difficult situation a bit better for customers.

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