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“Swat.io Has Completely Eased the Strain on our Decentralized Team”

OEBB Logo schwarz
The ÖBB community management team forges long-term relationships with its users. Ingrid Gogl, Head of the ÖBB Newsroom, explains how Swat.io makes her team’s work easier. ❤
ÖBB Zug Handy
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About the ÖBB

The Austrian Federal Railways (Österreichische Bundesbahnen, ÖBB) is the largest state railway company in Austria. The group provides both passengers and goods with safe, green transport across Austria and other countries and looks after all the associated infrastructure. Within the organization, these areas are handled by three independent subsidiaries. The Group Communications division of ÖBB-Holding maintains strategic control of communications, which include the group’s social media presence. The ÖBB’s social media channels serve as central points of contact for all its customers and prospective users and form an important part of the group’s communications mix.

Forging Relationships With the Target Group at Home

Social media provides the ÖBB with a window onto its target group. The group sees community management as an important part of communication and aims to really integrate its community. Social media users aren’t confronted with a faceless ticket machine; instead, they invite the company into their homes. The aim is to establish long-term relationships with their target groups.

Community management and customer service on social media are important elements of the ÖBB’s brand image. Interactions on social media channels translate into key figures in internal reporting, which is shared with the management board. The company is firmly focused on cultivating relationships with prospective users. Every social media post is an opportunity for interaction, so unanswered comments are a squandered opportunity. Even negative comments can benefit the brand. When community management helps the user and improves their mood? That’s a clear win.

ÖBB Railjet Bahnhof

Engaging With and Understanding the Community

At the ÖBB, the challenges in community management are the complexity of the company itself and the sheer variety of potential queries. When the team gets to work they have no idea which questions and subjects they’ll be dealing with that day. That means they need answers for a huge range of subjects ready to go – different trains, destinations and stations, ÖBB as an employer and so on.

At the same time, the team wants to know what the community thinks and get them involved. In fact, decision-making is increasingly turned over to users. What should the new tunnel boring machine be called? Where should they put the logo on a new train?

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1,998,377

total interactions in 2019
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13,657

comments posted on average per month
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296,376

fans and followers across different channels

Collaboration Between Teams and Locations Made Easy

To respond to questions promptly, the community management team has to get answers from different departments quickly. Swat.io allows them to forward tickets to the right person by email and get feedback. Responses from the relevant department appear directly in the activity log for the ticket. This is particularly important given that the team works in shifts. Who received the query, whether they’ve responded – this is transparent at all times, with no need for handover between shifts.

Swat.io lets the community management team inform co-workers about tickets or obtain assistance whenever they need. And the activity log allows them to make internal notes on tickets and ask co-workers for help. This traceability is especially important for escalation in the event of a crisis. When a ticket becomes critical, the team tags someone from Group Communications in the tool. This allows for strategic intervention at any point.

ÖBB Ingrid Gogl

Cross-Channel Analysis for Individual Requirements

The ÖBB uses the analysis tool in Swat.io to investigate how the community responds to communications and the current top issues among users. This data is prepared internally to substantiate the importance of social media and community management for the group. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the management board is keen to find out exactly how the crisis is reflected in social media channels. Extensive qualitative and quantitative analysis provides answers.

The team uses tags to assign all tickets and posts to themes. “Corona” was assigned as a tag back in February 2020, and they’ve been tracking the topic ever since. The start of the pandemic brought numerous questions about ticket cancellations; users later reported that they missed train travel or asked questions about mask rules. Through sentiment analysis, ÖBB could see how the mood of the community changed over time and in relation to certain topics. The number of tickets and the response times reveal how hard the team was working over this period. Swat.io made it easy for the ÖBB to run this extensive reporting across all channels.

Why the Team at ÖBB Chose Swat.io

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How has Swat.io impacted your work since you started using it?

“Without Swat.io our collaboration wouldn’t be as effective or easy. It really helps that we can communicate directly within the tool, without needing a separate channel. This makes it all so much easier, especially as we’re not all in the same physical location. Not just in community management but with content planning too.”
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Why did you choose Swat.io?

“There simply isn’t another tool out there that combines so many of the functions that are important in our work. Swat.io makes internal communication a whole lot easier. That said, face-to-face contact is unbeatable. It’s good to sit down at a table every now and then.”
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Who would you recommend Swat.io to?

“Companies that work in decentralized teams or use an agency. Anyone who is serious about community management, operates across multiple channels and has a large community should definitely consider using this tool. Swat.io makes it easy to bring communication and technical expertise together. This means we are more effective in addressing our customers’ concerns. And that in turn has a positive impact on the company’s image.”

Features Used

  • Central editorial calendar for cross-team content planning
  • Central ticket inbox for transparent community management
  • Ticket forwarding to co-workers without Swat.io access
  • Internal notes for easy coordination within the team
  • Tagging of tickets and posts in clusters according to topics
  • Sentiment analysis for determining the mood of the community
  • Analytical data for detailed reporting