For nine years running, JetBlue (the 7th largest airline in the U.S.) has scored top honors in customer satisfaction surveys of low-cost carriers by J.D. Power and Associates. How does JetBlue keep its customers engaged, loyal and happy? A big focus for the airline is staying laser focused on the whole customer experience - from travel research and flight bookings to the airport check-in and post-flight experience. JetBlue's marketing team is focused on creating individualized experiences for each customer based on behavior, travel patterns, preferences and more.
The shift from a campaign to customer mindset
The key to achieving high satisfaction is to focus on the whole customer experience — not just a single purchase. Says Maryssa Miller, the Director of Digital Commerce at JetBlue: “It’s not just about the campaign anymore, but about putting together all the information that they (the customers) really want to hear from us and at the time they want to hear it.” JetBlue leverages customers' favorite destinations, preferred flying class, and other travel habits into messages that are relevant to each customer. What's more, the airline recognizes that customer satisfaction isn't a static process; it involves thinking constantly about how it engages passengers and is always striving for new or better messaging.
For example, customers are creatures of habit, especially when it comes to traveling. So if a JetBlue customer flies from New York to Florida every February to escape the cold, JetBlue delivers messages with suggested travel itineraries based on the passenger's previous destinations and preferred times of travel.
A conversation the customer guides
With the customer at the center, JetBlue lets her decide which messages she receives. The company listens to the customer to figure out what's relevant to her — and what isn't. When JetBlue asked customers what they want more of, a majority said they want more information about their specific itinerary and final destination, says JetBlue's Miller. How did JetBlue respond? By giving customers the resources they asked for, and providing much more than basic flight information.
Customers also control how and when they receive company messages. For example, they can sign up to receive alerts about flight changes via email, push or text.
Preparing for future customer preferences
Marketing today isn’t just about knowing what customers want now, says Miller; it’s about anticipating what they’ll want in the future. Having a mindset to think about the present and the future starts with being open-minded. JetBlue is focused on innovating with out-of-the-box ideas, a strategy that is reflected in the services offered and the way these are services are communicated, says Miller. JetBlue, for instance, was one of the first airlines to let customers use their mobile devices from takeoff to touchdown following recent changes to FAA regulations. To engage customers and increase awareness around the new mobile freedom, the airline asked customers to take photos in flight and share them with the hashtag #below10kfeet.
“In order to keep up with the way that customer behavior is changing," says Miller, "we really need to think not just where customers are today, but where they’re going to be 18 months from now.”
Hear more from JetBlue's Maryssa Miller in this video: