In 2015 JetBlue introduced bag fees. Seven years after the competition. The media exploded. Many publications were negative. They blamed the airline for “selling out.” One headline read “A New Era has begun for JetBlue, and travelers will hate it.”
For me, one journalist stood out most. He wrote “why it is your fault JetBlue will be charging for bags.” In his article, he maps out a travelers’ decision making process. You know what I am talking about. Going to Kayak.com or Expedia.com and sorting flights by price to see the cheapest flights on top of the page. We all do it.
With this context in mind, the JetBlue decision to unbundle bag fees suddenly felt like survival. Let me elaborate. At the time, all other airlines charged for bags as add-ons later in the booking flow. As a result, JetBlue ALWAYS looked more expensive because it INCLUDED the bag fee in the ticket price instead of charging for bags later in the booking flow.
The average consumer rarely took the extra step to think through that difference. Instead, the average consumer deciding purely on price, typically chose the cheapest ticket.
What does that have to do with your missing digital concierge (let’s call her Jane)? Everything.
Where customers purchase matters
When a customer opts in to make a purchase via booking.com or kayak.com that customer is simultaneously opting OUT of a hospitality experience. In this scenario “hospitality” is a personalized, seamless, caring and guided experience.
If that list of losses feels long, it should. Let’s assume you are a traveler who decides to go to Orlando. You want to stay in a hotel close to Disney. And you want to visit Disney with your kids. Instead of going directly to an airline website to book air travel, you go to kayak. And, instead of calling the hotel directly, you book on hotels.com. In your mind, you just saved a lot of money. After all, these prices were only available on the aggregators’ websites!
Let’s walk through how much those savings actually cost. Since neither the airline, nor the hotel has your contact information, you have essentially disabled them from offering you any customer experience until you arrive. They cannot even manage your experience upon arrival if you choose not to share your information.
Here’s what you’re missing. Jane (our imagined digital personalized concierge) will not be able to send you notifications for your delayed flight. Nor can she send push notifications to tell you it is time to leave your house due to traffic conditions, or that you need to hurry in the airport because of the long TSA line. Jane will not notify you that the entertainment on your plane is down, prompting you to grab magazines and charge your devices. And you totally miss the intuitive experience surprise and delight offerings like Starbucks or Lyft coupons when you reach your destination.
Once you reach the hotel, you miss out on the expedited check in experience and digital key. And, of course, the price of your room will nearly double. Remember, the hotel could not reach you prior to arrival to walk you through the complexities of tourism taxes and fees.
Last, but not least, if you forgot your toothbrush, you miss the chance to communicate with the hotel through your phone and get a complimentary one. In short, airlines, airports, and hotels do not see you. And they certainly don’t know you.
Knowledge is power
For a digital solution, whether a chatbot or a digital concierge, context is everything. AI is only as smart and intuitive as the inputs it receives. A chatbot that has access to your reservation and/or location will not ask “Where would you like to fly from?” but rather, “What would you like to do with your reservation to Orlando?” or “Do you still want to go to Orlando?”.
Or, if you let Jane in your life, “Here are the top 3 restaurants in Orlando in the vicinity of your hotel. Would you like me to make a reservation for your family when you arrive?”
Designing and bringing INTUITION to life through predictive algorithms and empathetic language is not a simple task. That is why today’s chatbots still feel like band-aids on a problem that cannot be solved. They are missing context. They are implemented without real strategy. Then, they interact with customers who thought they were doing the right thing by trying to save money.
The problem is, when things go wrong (and they do go wrong) travelers miss out on a customer-centric experience, driven by hospitality and care. Instead, they face the same “stupid” questions several times. Their problem is never solved, and they lose their cool.
Are YOU going to pay for Jane, the Digital Concierge?
Numbers matter. You will not have Jane if you are making travel purchasing decisions solely on price. The business case to invest in all the technology needed to make Jane powerful enough to be a personalized digital concierge does not work for 20% of passengers.
Your preferred brands will not be able to love you back until more of you choose to be in an exclusive relationship with them. 😉
Are you ready?
Customer Experience Audit: Mobile Provider Eliminates Remote Workforce
How to balance the efficiency call center metric FCR (first call resolution) with wait and talk time? JetBlue promotes human interactions as a brand promise.
Poor Integration is Bad for Customers and Worse for Brands
Although we all have bad customer experiences, there is still a big debate about “the CX field” and whether it will survive the test of time. There is no doubt…
Employee Experience and Customer Experience Depend on Strategy
This week, Andy Newman wrote a great article in The New York Times about the life of a retail sales agent. He used the example of an Old Navy sales…
Customer Experience, Self Service, and the Gift of Time
Time is the most precious gift in life. If you think about it, time is the one thing we all want more of. As we get older and busier, time gets even more valuable to us.
Create Your Tribe: How Great CX Makes a Lifestyle Brand
Newcomers to the market realize that their business is only as strong as the growth of their customer base. With that in mind, senior leaders work hard to shorten the distance between them and the customer.
Hiring Tips: Who Should I Hire First on My CX Team
The pressure to demonstrate business impact and ROI on your Customer Experience initiatives quickly makes your first hire even more important. As usual, there is no answer that fits all scenarios perfectly. We have some helpful strategies to consider based on the structure of your organization and your goals.
Let’s Get You Certified as a Customer Experience Professional!
Like all mature professions, customer experience has a certification that is internationally recognized. Adding it to your resume will signal to the business community that you are serious about customer experience and your aspiration to be part of its leadership ranks…
Get Customer Experience Basics Right and You Don’t Need to Invest in Wow Moments
Wow Moments are a Customer Experience hot topic. Customer experience professionals ideate how to build, prioritize, finance, and measure these Wow Moments. Chip and Dan Heath wrote a whole book on the topic: The Power of Moments. No Wow Moment saves you from negative word of mouth if your brand fails to get the customer experience basics right or to deliver the expected brand experience consistently.
Culture and Access to Information
By and large, people perceive culture as an HR discipline. The most common perception is that culture covers the soft side of performance. Culture is about how you do things, not so much about what you do. This approach to culture could not be more wrong. In fact, organizational culture is about so much more than a few words in a performance review sheet. It is about leaders expressing values, and the action guidance their cultural behaviors provide.
Customer Experience Design – How Do You Want Customers To Feel?
Last week, we talked about CX Design in terms of space and function. Today, we continue our CX design journey to talk about the design of emotions and feelings. The new…
The One CX Goal You Need to Set for 2019
For 2019, I urge you to make only one CX goal – bring about business success with your customer experience work. Don’t just do work in the general sense. Rather, set a CX goal that has a real impact on your customers and their experiences with your brand.
Lessons Learned at the Forrester Conference: “Data is the New Sexy”
Once a year I look for an event or a conference to attend where I can learn something new and get better at what I do. This year I attended…
What is Customer Experience? What are the Faces of CX?
Each area of CX represents a path for CX professionals to impact business health and build successful careers. One of my favorite CX analogies is that it is like the blood in our bodies. When CX is done well, it touches every aspect of an organization. That’s what makes customer experience so much fun! You will never be bored working in CX.
Autonomous Customers, Traveler Privacy and More Questions for CX Professionals in a Changing World
“As we move toward a more automated culture, most travelers will adapt to a Jetsonian, automated lifestyle. Every industry we know will be disrupted. For those of us in aviation,…
United CEO does not care about #customers happiness. Really?
Lately, I have been thinking about United Airlines. In the beginning I was thinking about them, because I was asked if it is possible to build a customer-centric culture in…
Are You Ready to Go Exclusive with Jane, Your Digital Concierge?
In 2015 JetBlue introduced bag fees. Seven years after the competition. The media exploded. Many publications were negative. They blamed the airline for “selling out.” One headline read “A New…
Why You Need Culture Not Call Center Training for Customer-Centric CX
If the organization does not understand what customer experience is, you will not get the funding or organizational support you need to build customer-centric experiences.
Liliana Petrova Talks Patient Experience on Helthcare Podcast
Today we share with you a recent healthcare podcast we recorded with Stacey Richter. I was very excited to have the opportunity with her to discuss similarities between the healthcare…
Why you need a defined culture to do CX right?
When designed and built correctly, customer experience expresses an organization’s brand. Your brand and marketing promises serve as a guiding light to your experience team. Similarly, organizational culture serves as a goalpost for the service side of customer experience.
Why Customer Retention is the True Measure of SaaS Success
Guest Post by Callie Reynolds In SaaS (Software as a Service), like in most businesses, sales is king. Sales gets the glory, and while I’d like to say this has…
Customer Experience Design – Make the Customer Know Who You Are
Now that we have helped you become experts in the design of space and function and the design of feelings, it is time to turn our attention to aesthetics, and to connect customer experience…
3 Ways to Get Started Creating Better Employee Experience
Guest Post by Gabe Smith, CCXP The relationship between employee experience and customer experience has long been discussed. Without engaged employees, we’re told, it’s difficult to create great experiences for…
Why BtoB Businesses Need to Think Like BtoC in the Next Decade
According to Gartner at least 80% of BtoB buyers now expect the same buying experience as BtoC customers in 2019. Gone are the days when BtoB organizations did not need…
How Not to Leave Customers Stranded on the Busiest Travel Day of the Year
Meet Diane. She is traveling with her 2 year old and 5 year old to her in-laws’ house for Thanksgiving. This is the one annual trip she has to take….
Culture Is King – The Power Of Employee Engagement
In 2017 we introduced our ROI series recognizing the challenges all customer experience professionals have to obtain funding for CX initiatives and to prove their positive returns. Our second ROI…
Customer Experience Audit: New York Times Beats Google
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audits. See all audits. The newspaper industry is one of the most disrupted in the past decade. Newspapers…
How to Prepare for AI: Dispatches from CR Summit, Charleston
On the eve of the #CRSummit in Charleston, customer experience leaders from various industries held the first AI Committee meeting. AI is a challenging topic to cover because it has…
Coronavirus Isn’t The Only Thing Killing the Aviation Industry
Eighteen years ago, September 11th caused a three-day halt of the US commercial airlines and resulted in a 31.6% reduction in travel in September 2001 compared to the previous year….
How to Be an Entrepreneur: 5 Things I Learned in 5 Months as an Entrepreneur
The life of an entrepreneur is different every day, but the one thing that remains the same is that we are always learning. These are my lessons in how to…
Why Customers Are Not Responding to Your Customer Experience Survey
When you solicit customer feedback sometimes matters more than how you ask the questions. In the case of a survey about new biometrics boarding initiatives my team and I created for JetBlue, we had a list of feedback that was most important for us.
What is the survey question that will prioritize your #CX roadmap?
As customer experience professionals, we need to factor in this disconnect when we design surveys. And when we react to survey results. Customers have an image of who they want to be. However, their behaviors do not always reflect that image.
Customer Experience Audit: Domino’s Making the Right CX Choices
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audit. See all CX audit stories. Domino’s Pizza made two CX bold moves . They changed a nearly half-century…
From Pain Points to Magical Moments: Transform the Customer Experience
Argyle Journal interviewed Liliana Petrova about emerging self service technology and meeting and exceeding customer expectations in airports. In the below recording Liliana explains how JetBlue addresses the pain points…
Customer Experience Audit: FedEx Omnichannel Disaster
In our Strategy, Org Design & Culture series we cover customer-focused companies that are willing to adapt, take risks and discover new ways of staying relevant. Sometimes, we encounter brands…
CX Skills Builders: You May Have a CX Job and Not Know It
Last week we talked about the identity crisis of CX professionals and we urged you to fix any small problem or seam on the customer journey in order to build internal brand equity and buy in.
Customer Experience Tips and Best Practices In 2017?
In Post 2 of Liliana Petrova’s series on customer experience tips, lessons learned, and best practices for the new year on JetBlue, she explores the importance of “keeping the human…
CX Design Makes Form and Function Beautiful – and Cosmopolitan Magazine Notices
At its core, design is about value creation. In the world of Customer Experience, value-driven design requires CX professionals to use empathy to imagine a future customer experience that is…
How a Personal Interaction builds Customer Loyalty
A customer-centric methodology is key to the successful outcome of my interaction with Hello Spud. It is the reason this story appears here, and not among the CX Big Fails! The company did not send an automated response. It did not deliver a message stating “sorry we couldn’t help you, would you like something else.” Instead, the company co-founder reached out to me personally across multiple channels (a handwritten note, followed by personal emails).
Healthcare Culture Change Whitepaper: Impact of Patient ‘I Wants’ in Healthcare
Rachel Dreyfus joins The Petrova Experience with a guest blog about healthcare customer experience. Background A culture of positive patient experience is increasingly important in Healthcare, affecting patient outcomes and…
Coronavirus Travel: What Does Hospitality Mean Now?
Earlier this week, I traveled to New Orleans from JFK Terminal 5 in New York. I had planned an airport conference a few months ago. Although many colleagues chose not…
Hospitality and Why We Lack a Seamless Travel Experience: Lessons from Las Vegas
Hospitality is taken for granted across government agencies, airlines and hotels. In my line of work, I often hear “I want to have the JetBlue customer experience.” Although many claim…
Customer Experience View of your Call Center Technology
By 2022 the global cloud based contact center market is growing from USD 6.8Bn in 2017 to 20.93Bn in 2022. This makes for CAGR of 25.2%. If you do not…
Customer Experience Audit: Starbucks Bets On The Physical Experience
Starbucks is opting in for the physical experience in order to become a lifestyle brand while other brands are investing in omni-channel experience.
Customer Experience Audit: Cadillac Scores Millennial Customers with Future-Forward Thinking
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audits. See all the audit stories. The automotive industry is right next to the airline industry in terms…
Our Holiday Wishes for Great CX
Every successful customer experience initiative starts with a skilled CX team. Brush up on your CX skills to strengthen the business case for CX; to develop relationships within your organization; and to deliver standout customer experiences in the new year.
CX Bold Moves: JetBlue Paperless And Deviceless Boarding
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of CX Bold Moves. See all the CX Bold Moves stories. This year JetBlue entered the ranks of the innovators who…
Customer Experience Audit: eBay’s Vibrant Marketplace of the Future
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series of Customer Experience Audits. See all audit stories. Two years ago RJ Pittman and eBay made a big bet and made…