Airline giant JetBlue turned to Twitter as one way to monitor its brand. Thousands of travelers were tweeting about their in-flight experiences, whether on JetBlue or other airlines.
The airline’s social media team began by responding to customers one by one, startling the otherwise-disgruntled traveler in the nicest possible way. The outreach customer service established @jetblue as one of the first large companies to truly have a voice on the social web.
@jetblue @travismurdock Thanks for the shout-out. We’ll make sure Mario and his supervisor is aware of your appreciation.
@jetblue @djbarrett We’re sorry our service did not meet your expectations. We’ll be sure to pass along your concerns to our Airport Leadership.
Moving from Customer Support to Marketing
JetBlue’s leaders didn’t stop there. They also realized that Twitter could be more than just a customer support channel. They were smart enough to see Twitter as an effective way of driving sales and revenue. In July 2009, JetBlue launched @JetBIueCheeps, an account dedicated to promoting real-time deals.
By giving Twitter users a clear incentive to follow the account, JetBlue grew its follower base quickly. Today, JetBlue has the largest Twitter audience of any airline, even though they are a much smaller business than competitors Delta and United. JetBlue is proof that big brands can drive business results, 140 characters at a time.
Secrets to JetBlue’s Success
What factors have led to their success? Here are just a few:
- JetBlue’s corporate culture embraces feedback. They sincerely want to know about customer experiences, and the personnel genuinely want to help them resolve problems. Furthermore, they use customer data to fix internal workflow issues that can improve the customer experience.
- Leadership took a risk and thought about long-term results. The social media effort could never have succeeded without corporate executives’ encouragement.
- They emphasize value for the customer. Although JetBlue clearly has the aim of getting people to buy plane tickets on its airline, nothing in their Twitter feed sounds that way. Everything is presented as a service they are doing to make their customers comfortable, happy, and get the most for their dollar.