Digital Refresh

JetBlue Enhances Its Digital Capabilities To Boost Customers’ Travel Experience

JetBlue takes advantage of its “digital refresh” initiative as an excellent opportunity to further critical connections with customers by broadening its array of social media choices and other digital commerce offerings.

One of the most innovative commercial air carriers today — particularly when it comes to relating to its customers and their salient needs and desires — is JetBlue Airways.

JetBlue has built its low-cost, high-value reputation on advanced communication and multiple electronic and mobile features, enabling the airline to connect with its customers in numerous venues.

To help cement a continuing leadership position in customer relationships through digital communications and connections, JetBlue recently implemented a digital-refresh initiative that touched various prime communications functions, including its websites and a new smartphone application.

 
Connecting With Customers

Adding to its ongoing leadership position in customer relationships, JetBlue launched a digital-refresh initiative that touched a range of major communications functions, including its websites and a new smartphone application.

The airline carefully crafted the modifications with a keen eye toward its self-described “core brand elements,” which embrace the terms “nice, fresh, smart, stylish and witty” as the ideals JetBlue aspires to and strives for.

“Our objective for this refresh was to redefine the digital airline space with smart, beautifully designed products that add value to the travel experience and deepen the relationship we have with our customers,” said Maryssa Miller, JetBlue’s director of digital commerce. “It was critical to our customers that we helped personalize and simplify their entire experience from the point of booking through the time of travel. Moreover, the airline measures the success of the initiative in multiple ways, including customer sentiment, increase in conversion and other engagement metrics, and volume of app downloads. We are very pleased with the results.”

In its public statements, the carrier emphasizes its ambition not only to maintain but also to expand a broad range of connectivity and communications options for its customers.

“JetBlue offers electronic and mobile capabilities to support every aspect of the customer’s travel experience, from booking through our e-commerce site, online check-in, a mobile-commerce site and an iPhone application,” Miller said. “Overall, these services bring simplicity to a complex process.”

“And we are especially focused on mobility to allow customers to connect with us anytime and anyplace.”

The quest for more and better mobile offerings coincides with JetBlue’s fundamental branding philosophy.

“JetBlue is extremely focused on design and the ‘voice’ of our brand, which includes adding a bit of fun and excitement to the experience,” said Miller. “An example is an innovative new ‘Pick Me Up’ feature on our website and our mobile app, allowing customers to send their airport information to loved ones along with pickup location, maps and traffic information.”

Enabled through what JetBlue refers to as “geo-location” technology, the airline promotes and encourages easier and more-informed travel options and real-time reminders for its customers during their trips.

 
Electronic And Mobile Capabilities

Supporting every aspect of its customers’ travel experience, JetBlue offers an array of electronic and mobile capabilities from booking through its e-commerce site, online check-in, a mobile-commerce site and an iPhone application. The carrier is particularly focused on mobility so customers can connect with JetBlue anytime, anyplace.

As part of the digital refresh, improvements to the airline’s website, jetblue.com, provide even faster and easier navigation, with a new targeting engine that boasts geographic relevance. It also submits messages to customers based on their location, travel history and preferences. In addition, JetBlue’s newly refreshed mobile site now has many of the same types of forward-looking features, with easy access to reservations, mobile check-in and flight status.

Among further intriguing innovations is the capability of the airline’s customers to send “virtual postcards,” so they can keep family and acquaintances informed about their travel, or post at will within the context of social networks including Twitter and Facebook.

Another significant aspect of the digital initiative is that JetBlue has provided customers the ability to easily share itineraries as well as scan and select in-flight options. They can now look through snack and beverage offerings, for example, or call up movie previews or examine television schedules of what will be available during their specific flights.

In all of these contexts, JetBlue keeps up with the current trends with the goal of rolling out offerings that meet, if not exceed, what’s already available and what customers have come to know and expect.

“We offer many of the same features that the traveling public is already familiar with, but we are fast-tracking efforts to support our customers in new and innovative ways,” Miller said. “We index much higher on direct-to-website purchases and, therefore, we are able to leverage digital to build the relationships with our customers.”

“We’re one of the strongest social brands in the airline space and have one of the most-downloaded apps, especially relative to our size. Back when we first launched our website, we redefined what an airline site could look like, including using customer imagery to help tell the story.”

These are all things that JetBlue essentially claims as birthrights, along with the instincts and knowhow to be able to convert ideas into digital reality.

“We grew up as a digital brand,” Miller said. “So we’ve always embraced ways of connecting with our customers, including being one of the first airlines to build a following through Twitter.”

Naturally, advancing technology is critical to JetBlue’s capabilities in extending more and better options to its customers, whether in-flight or on the ground, posting to Facebook or checking luggage.

Digital support — from a variety of sources — is vital in helping hold everything together.

 
Digital Commerce Offerings

JetBlue, one of the industry’s low-cost, highly innovative leaders, consistently finds ways to apply advanced technology to enhance its guests’ travel experience. Its recent digital refresh initiative provides customers with numerous social media choices and other digital commerce offerings.

“We utilize a mix of both in-house and external development to support our digital strategy,” Miller said. “We also seek business partners who specialize in very specific application development.”

“Since moving to a new Web platform in 2009, we’ve seen great performance from a reliability standpoint, uptime and overall metric attainment. We are now able to deliver a simple, elegant solution that offers greater functionality than in the past. This is a great accomplishment considering the complexity of the platform and the fact that it also has to work with several other systems supported by other business partners.”

The development proceeds as customer desires continue to evolve and the digital arena continues to expand the possibilities.

“During the past five years, customer habits have changed tremendously and led us to make several advancements in mobile, including the launch of our first mobile-commerce-enabled site in 2007, and our first mobile app on iPhone in early 2012,” said Miller. “Social has been another area that’s changed greatly during the past five years, which led us to launch YouTube and Twitter in 2007, followed by our Facebook presence in 2009 and our company blog, BlueTales, in 2010.”

Through its digital refresh and every other aspect of its business, JetBlue continually puts its customers first. First and foremost, the carrier listens to its customers to help ensure it offers the products and services they desire and expect.

“We’re committed to continuing to leverage customer feedback — both in the short term and long term — to inform the product improvements we make,” Miller said. “Currently, we have a heavy focus on mobile multi-platform solutions: cross-device recognition and social integration into various channels. We are looking to integrate with other digital products such as in-flight connectivity and new airport technologies.”

“Our strategy includes finding ways to make the customer experience driven more by customer preferences — including geo-targeting, personalization and simplification of the customer journey — that will be further refined as customer behaviors adapt in the years to come.”

JetBlue intends to remain a trendsetter. That, after all, is the basis upon which the airline has been established: among the low-cost but highly innovative leaders, always looking to apply advanced technology to the best advantage in relating directly to its customers.

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