Sunday, March 31, 2013

JetBlue Succeeds in Social Media: A Case Study

There's a lot of clutter in the social media world, and--although "the experts" say consumers can pick and choose the feeds they want--it's increasingly confusing to sort through the social media static. But when a stream stands out, it's worth stating.

Such was my Twitter experience yesterday with JetBlue. Whoever's in charge of JetBlue's Twitter feed should be commended for their responsiveness and customer service... And other companies should learn a lesson from how JetBlue does it.

Our flight to Boston was delayed out of BWI; we finally landed about 90 minutes past our scheduled arrival time. In my rush to deplane, I left behind my Nook. I didn't realize I was reader-less until I was on the Silver Line into South Station.

I immediately called JetBlue; they gave me the number for the Lost and Found office at their Logan headquarters. I left a message with all the details. Standard approach.

Enter social media: At 10:24 PM yesterday night I tweeted, "Without my #Nook I am readerless! #JetBlue please find it and return it!(Lost tonight on flight 1326, BWI-BOS)". Less than 15 minutes later, at 10:37 PM, JetBlue Direct Messaged me: "@brm90 Please speak with the Baggage Services office in BOS before you leave the airport, or call the lost and found at 617-716-3549."

Of course, I'd already called and left a message. That's the "old media" approach.

As a "new media" pro, what matters to me is how quickly JetBlue responded to my plaintive cry, and how they provided clear, specific instructions in 133 characters. That's the takeaway for brands that seek to use Twitter to connect meaningfully with customers. JetBlue’s brand page on Twitter shows that they use Twitter as a customer service platform. Almost every tweet is an @ reply.

I did some further research and discovered that JetBlue has a dedicated person who continually interacts with social media, especially Twitter. With almost 2 million followers, that's a challenging job.

Here's the lesson for brands: If your brand is on Twitter for customer service, it’s important to be committed. According to JetBlue,

“Our goal would be to make ourselves available, help whenever possible, and to show that our brand is built by real people who care about our customers.”

JetBlue goes to where their customers are and they're helping customers resolve issues. They're not flogging their brand by routinely pushing press releases. On Twitter (I can't speak for their other social media platforms) JetBlue promotes their brand--and builds brand allegiance--by having great customer service.

JetBlue may not find my Nook, but they certainly found a follower.