Ahhh, summer – a season of sunshine, valiant efforts to slow one’s life down, and vacation travel. It’s hard not to notice, however, how our great escape efforts are often marked by so much preparatory and participatory stress. Marketing guru (and a man who was kind enough to endorse my Zappos Experience book) Seth Godin recently posted fantastic tips to help reduce travel-induced anxiety. We as customers often accept the hassles inherent in travel, particularly air travel, as forgone conclusions. But why? While not known for being particularly customer-centric, even the airline industry seems to making some effort to reduce the pain points we all encounter.
The Wall Street Journal reports that JetBlue Airways has introduced automatic check-in for a select cohort of passengers. 24 hours in advance of their flight they will receive an email with a ready-to-print boarding pass and an option to download the airlines’ mobile boarding pass app. Armed with either one, that passenger is airport ready.
“”The idea of asking customers to jump an additional hurdle before their flight is an increasingly antiquated concept,” says Blair Koch, JetBlue Vice President Commercial and Shared Development Services. “By having the right systems in place, we can remove this step, and even help identify and prevent issues that can hinder customers from fully enjoying their travel experience.”
“JetBlue’s focus since day one of our launch has been about looking at the customer experience through a different lens and making the travel experience simpler and more enjoyable,” says Michael Stromer, JetBlue Vice President of Digital, Loyalty & Customer Insights. “Following our successful smartphone and mobile boarding pass launches, auto check-in is just another example of leveraging technology and common sense to make our customers’ travel experiences better.”
The return of common sense is refreshing, isn’t it? It is not that the customer “hurdle” of having to make your way to a computer to check in for a flight is all that difficult. It’s just that it is one-more-thing-to-do in the flurry of pre-departure activities. When you’re preparing to step out of your everyday life and responsibilities to take a trip, you know as well as I do that one-more-thing-to-do is the last thing you need.
What “rules” of engagement are at play in your industry? How can your business create systems, like JetBlue, to erase or ease them for your customers?