Friday, May 25, 2007

Innovative communication

Here is an excellent example of an innovative communication strategy by JetBlue. It is a little dated but this example was raised in another blog and I wanted to share it with you. David Neeleman, the CEO and founder of JetBlue, is seen here issuing an apology and follow-up on the events that took place this spring.

The airline was forced to cancel a number of flights and the irregular events put a dark cloud over the once sparkling airline. The utilization of YouTube to communicate with customers and partners of JetBlue is a great communication tool. It's more or less free, it's instananeous, it reaches a huge audience, and shows how the airline embraces technology. We see this too with Southwest's own blog, Nuts about Southwest, but this is part of the next web-wave. I would love to see more companies, not just airlines, incorporate YouTube and other technologies in their communication strategies.

On a side note, airlines are paid by customers to provide a service. 99% of the time that service is delivered with no or minimal disruptions; the customer gets what is paid for and doesn't think much about it. I'd call this an average service offering. If the airline offers outstanding service and the customer has fond memories of the trip, this is an above-average service offering. I would venture to say that the majority of airline customers experience an average service offering. Now, when an airline has an irregular day, caused by weather, strikes, mechanicals, or some other event, this is when an airline can really shine and show their excellent service offering. Unfortunately, the majority of airlines do not plan for this contingencies. To see it another way, airlines are like your phone service. When it works we don't give it a second thought, but when something is wrong we expect immediate fixes and we judge our service provider by how things are handled during irregular operations. Airlines are the same way. Pilots go to recurrent training not to train for regular operations but irregular operations. Airline management should also prioritize and have a plan in place for irregular operations. This may go a long way to providing an abover-average customer experience.

No comments: