It’s definitely been a bad couple of weeks for JetBlue. I’m sure everyone is sick of hearing about them by now, but I feel compelled to DEFEND the airline.
This week, Business Week was coincidentally scheduled to release its rank of the top 25 customer service firms. JetBlue was #4. After seeing the problems unfold for the airline over the last week, Business Week decided to drop them from the rankings. But they didn’t just drop them from the rankings, they decided to go for the low blow.
First of all, if an organization is in your top 5 for the full year and they have one bad event, I hardly think they should be removed. Now, it’s true this was a pretty long and painful event, but they are taking a lot of important steps from a customer service perspective. David Neeleman has been out there apologizing on any tv show that will take him. They’ve put apologies in newspapers and in emails to every address in their database. They’ve also rolled out their Customer Bill of Rights which, though widely criticized over their Controllable Irregularity clause (yes, I’ve jumped in as well), is at least doing SOMETHING proactive.
So what was Business Week’s reasoning? How about this quote from an article on the decision:
“What matters most is execution–doing the deep, hard,
organizational work to ensure the crisis never happens again. While JetBlue
recognizes that fact, it still has plenty to prove, especially to those
passengers fuming over their ruined vacation or time forever lost to the inside
of an airplane.”
Ok, so even though I may not agree with it, I can understand the argument about why they should be quietly removed from the list. But why on earth would you decide to leave the cover the way it is and just cross out JetBlue entirely?! Yes, I know the answer – it’s all about selling magazines – but it’s still really harsh and completely unnecessary.
Apparently the people taking Business Week’s poll would agree. The poll asks “JetBlue’s recent operational fiasco led BusinessWeek to cut the company from our first ranking of Customer Service Champs. Would you have kept JetBlue on the list?”
Of the 820 votes cast so far, more than 80% (including my own) said yes, they would have kept JetBlue on the list. You can cast your own vote here.
For now, the only good news is for employees of the carmaker Lincoln. They must be excited because JetBlue’s dismissal allowed them to slip in at #25.