Accepting Customer Feedback in the Right Way


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JetBlue-homepageThe last time I was flying JetBlue (which I do often), there weren’t any Extra Leg Room seats available. Usually I secure one of these seats, not so much for the extra room, although it is very welcome—it’s nice not to have to worry about anyone hitting my laptop closed when the person in front of me reclines their seat as I’m working—but primarily for the other benefits that come with that upgrade: early boarding (so enough room in the overhead bins for your luggage) and the priority security line at major airports (including my home base of Logan airport in Boston).

I mentioned to the gate agent that it would be great to have an upgrade option to priority security and boarding that wasn’t dependent upon a restriction of specific seats. He advised me to go to the JetBlue web site and offer this recommendation. I figured that this was a nice blow off. Offering feedback on a web site rarely seems to do anything except generate an automated response that leads nowhere.

JetBlue-tabsHowever, the next time I was booking on the site, I decided to try it. On the home page, I decided to try the link for “Speak up.” (See Illustration 1.) Sure enough, it led me to a page where I was welcomed (on the “Get Answers” tab) with a very simple, but convincing argument for email feedback: “JetBlue’s Help Site was designed with your needs in mind. Chances are that the answer to your question can be found here. Plus, it is much easier than picking up the phone to ask.” In addition, there were two additional tabs: “Give compliments” and “Share concerns.” (See Illustration 2.)

What I really wanted was a “Give suggestions” tab, but I decided to be positive about the whole thing and “Give compliments.” I entered the following: “I love the ability to choose extra legroom seats and get early boarding. However, since there often aren’t enough extra legroom seats for me to get one, I’d like an option to just purchase early boarding for, say, $20 extra. Just for your consideration.” It was pretty easy except for the fact that I was required to enter information about my flight—even though my comment wasn’t about a specific flight. They should really fix that! And JetBlue should provide an “offer ideas/suggestions” option.

I sent the comment in on 10/24/11 at 12:09 p.m. I got a response at 4:37 p.m. the same day. At first, I thought that it took overly long to get an acknowledgement. And then I read the email!

Re: email received Monday, 10/24/11 12:09 PM, Speak Up 2887773

Hello Ronni,

Thank you for contacting JetBlue Airways regarding our Even More Space seating. We appreciate your suggestion to be able to purchase a standalone early boarding option. We are always evaluating new ways to better serve our customers, and we’re happy to forward your feedback to our Marketing Department for review and consideration.

Ronni, we thank you for your support of JetBlue. We look forward to welcoming you onboard again soon.


Customer Commitment Crew
JetBlue Airways
Crewmember 26482

Original Message Follows:
E-mail Address: [email protected]
Customer: Ronni Marshak
Phone Number:
TrueBlue member: Y
Departure City: BOS
Destination City: ORD
Flight Date: 10/26/11
Flight Number:
Urgent: N
LevelTwo: Other
Comments: I love the ability to choose extra legroom seats and get early boarding. However, since there often aren’t enough extra legroom seats for me to get one, I’d like an option to just purchase early boarding for, say, $20 extra. Just for your consideration.
Recommend Level: 10

Well, blow me away! Not only was it a thoughtful response that showed that someone had actually read my comment, but it was signed by a specific person with a specific Crewmember number so I could follow up if need be, and it indicated what the next step was—sending it to the marketing department, which is exactly where it should go.

I also really liked the final “Recommend Level: 10,” which probably doesn’t mean a gosh darn thing, but, in my mind, indicates that it was a great recommendation!

This is the way to do it, folks. Provide a specific way to solicit feedback and then respond to the feedback specifically! Show that the message has been heard and understood. Let the customer know what is being done with the feedback. Sure, it would have been even better to have a tab for suggestions and to not require unrelated info like the flight date. But after providing countless number of online suggestions and getting only a canned response such as: “We have received your email and it will be given due consideration,” and then hearing nothing, this was a great customer experience that made this JetBlue customer feel very valued.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ronni Marshak
Patricia Seybold Group
Ronni Marshak co-developed Patricia Seybold Group's Customer Scenario® Mapping (CSM) methodology with Patricia Seybold and PSGroup's customers. She runs the CSM methodology practice, including training, certification, and licensing. She identifies, codifies, and updates the recurring patterns in customers' ideal scenarios, customers' moments of truth, and customer metrics that she discovers across hundreds of customer co-design sessions.


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