A colleague of mine commented to me after reading my blog post about the dopey invitation that JetBlue sent me a couple of days ago that it seems that JetBlue keeps loading the gun and handing it to me.
Yep. Any company that lives by slick marketing will ultimately get hoisted with its own petard.
In its ongoing effort to TALK about how wonderful it is, rather than actually BE wonderful, JetBlue has created a microsite called "Happy Jetting", which is their marketing slogan du jour.One of the pages on the "Happy Jetting" web site is called "Jetting Cares" and it reads as follows (I am NOT making this up):
"At JetBlue we believe happiness is a whole lot better than grouchiness, anger and unhappiness. We believe that happy crewmembers lead to happy customers. We believe that listening isn't hard to do. We believe that while air travel always has its unexpected bumps, our job is to keep improving the ride. And we believe that when you add that kind of common sense to 35,000 feet, you make air travel something it hasn't been in a long time: enjoyable."
Now, this statement must be parsed. Bear with me:
- At JetBlue we believe happiness is a whole lot better than grouchiness, anger and unhappiness.
OK, we accept that you believe that. Who wouldn't? It's common sense. We all believe that too. We're with ya'!
- We believe that happy crewmembers lead to happy customers.
Uh oh. Sounds good, but what about the poor JetBlue employee that I had to deal with at the ticket counter in Portland when you cancelled my flight and told me I could fly in three days? THAT guy was so unhappy, you could taste it. He actually said to me that he wished there was a supervisor there, but it was 5:00 AM and they run a skeleton crew in Portland so, sorry, but he was almost as miserable as I was.
- We believe that listening isn't hard to do.
Big trouble here. That same employee was not EMPOWERED to listen. He could only say two things to the planeload of stranded customers: "Partial refund or wait three days for the next flight." That's ALL he kept saying because that's all he was allowed to say by JetBlue. Listening was NEVER part of the equation. And the corporate relations person who called me a couple of weeks ago kept reciting from the "Contract of Carriage" as if it were the Talmud. She "heard" what I was saying, but she was never really "listening".
- We believe that while air travel always has its unexpected bumps, our job is to keep improving the ride.
"Unexpected bumps?" Bad weather is an unexpected bump. Mechanical problems are unexpected bumps. Stranding 150 people for three days in an airport with no food or lodging because you are selling a product that you can not properly service - that is somewhere between a "bump" and an "egregious abdication of any corporate responsibility to the customer."
- And we believe that when you add that kind of common sense to 35,000 feet, you make air travel something it hasn't been in a long time: enjoyable.
Yeah, well, I can't really comment on this one since the closest I got to 35,000 feet with JetBlue was the escalator up to the ticket counter, where I was told, in essence, to "f-off." To find out what it was like to enjoy anything at 35,000 feet, I had to buy a one-way ticket home for $1,000 on Delta Airlines.
So there you have it. More marketing pablum from a company that talks a great game, but forgets the essential part of any customer experience is actually providing the product that you sold to the customer.
As Hamlet (or was it Homer?) said: "D'oh!"