Dave's Here and Now

Social Media Case Study – How JetBlue Used Twitter to Treat Me Like A Human

Jan 28th 2009

People often ask me why I use Twitter. Until recently I found it hard to explain. I have to admit, it took me over 5 months to post my 2nd update after my first “Trying out twitter” post. It just didn’t click with me the first time around. Until I took the time to use it for a while and successfully make that step across the “Ah Ha!” threshold, it just seemed a bit pointless. Why in the world would someone care that someone they don’t know is about to hit Starbucks or buy a new drill at the Home Depot?

The answer is simple…at least for me. After I took the time, Twitter opened my eyes to a world that is full of people who want to help me, people who are looking for help from me, interesting points of views with a fresh voice, new friends, new opportunities, and of course companies that want to help improve the experience that I have with them.

Ok Ok Ok. I know. That sounded more like a sales pitch than I wanted it to. I told you it was hard to explain. You need something more concrete.

Let me share an experience I had on Twitter that shows the power of this little communication engine in action. Sharing my actual experiences with JetBlue (@jetblue) and how they used Twitter, on 2 separate occasions, to enhance my customer experience and address my concerns in real time, sheds more light on the power of Twitter than any white paper or elevator pitch ever could.

This is how JetBlue, and the people on Twitter, used Social Media to treat me like a human:

Leg #1 – Boston to Denver

I was taking JetBlue for the first time on a 2 day business trip to Denver. On the flight out I think someone accidentally hit the thermostat with their carry-on because I swear it was a minimum of 80 degrees on the plane. When I arrived, feeling even more filthy than I usually do when getting off of a 4.5 hour flight,  I decided to shoot this tweet to Jetblue and let them in on my discomfort.


In under 2 minutes, JetBlue responded with this tweet acknowledging my concern. It may seem like a small thing but think about it. Here is a huge organization listening to me complain about the temperature on their plane over a channel that is far from mainstream. Even more impressive is that it was not an automated response. There was a real person writing that little note. It may not sell more plane tickets but it definitely made me to tell this story.

Leg #2 – Denver to Boston

Now it was time for the return flight home and this time it was a red-eye. I was already grumpy about having to try and sleep in a seat designed for a 10 year old child so I decided to get there a few hours early, relax, and do some reading. I used one of the kiosks to check in and headed up to the counter to check in my bag. Low and behold, there was no one at the counter. It was a ghost town. My plan was shot. Perturbed with iPhone in hand,  I turned to Twitter and shot this Tweet over the bow of my new friends at JetBlue.


Not only did JetBlue respond to me directly, but other folks who follow me on twitter also gave me insight based on their own experience. JetBlue, with the help of the crowd, was again able to turn a situation that would have normally annoyed me into one of understanding and outstanding customer experience.

JetBlue gets it and Twitter helped them deliver it. Just Awesome.

There are many other company’s that leverage Twitter to enhance the experience of their customers and even more individuals who are looking to enhance the lives of the people around them. Get out there and experience both for yourself. Get involved and be amazed at what you will find and how many times people and company’s will surprise you.

Got your own Twitter “Ah Ha” moment? Please comment and keep the conversation going.

Enjoy and of course follow me (@daveraffaele) on twitter.

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