Getting up, close and personal with the customer – three airline case studies

How would you feel if an airline starts following you on Twitter, and not only that, starts interacting with you as well? Wouldn’t it be great to be able to vote for the name of the next big thing in the airline industry in your country? Or how about feeling truly special on International Women’s Day?

These are all things airlines are doing these days to engage the customer. Advertisements can only create a certain level of awareness. But it is the active interaction with the customer, and the ability to surprise him or her like Virgin, which leads to true brand awareness, and ultimately trust and loyalty. A great example was how Singapore Airlines engaged their customers prior to launching their first A380 flights to London.

Here are three instances of how airlines around the world are delighting (or surprising) the customer by getting up, close and personal with them.

  1. Popular blogger Jonathan Fields was recently “followed” by JetBlue on Twitter. He was initially surprised but soon was conversing with a real person from JetBlue’s Corporate Communications division who explained to him the purpose of the interaction. JetBlue Airways makes a concerted effort to interact with their customers using latest Web 2.0 technologies like Twitter to get real insights from them. Just recently, JetBlue reached the milestone of “2000 followers” on twitter. The 2000th follower was sent a gift. How sweet!
  2. Azul, the new Brazilian airline by former JetBlue CEO David Neelman is just starting up, but has created a lot of buzz and probably knows the preferences of their potential customers well in advance. The name, Azul, which means “blue” in Portugese—was one of 157,000 submitted and voted on by Brazilian consumers in an online competition. With the name chosen, people will now have the chance to vote on Azul’s uniforms. Next will be a blog that Neeleman will author. How is that for listening to the customer?
  3. On International Women’s Day this year, Singapore Airlines held a special promotion for female travelers’ buy one Business class ticket and get a second free. Those traveling in Economy class were also treated to extremely low companion fares. In addition to that, all women traveling that day from Chennai to Singapore were honored at the airport with special tokens. Surely, such personal experiences go a long way in building brand loyalty.

Ponder that!

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Showing 5 comments
  • Shishir

    The twitter usage is quite similar to what Facebook has also recently started. Where people can sign up for groups if they are a “fan” of some particular service/company/celebrity and whenever someone does that, that action shows up in the news feed of that person’s friends!

    So I’m sure companies are also using Facebook for similar means 🙂

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