Ranked #1 in customer satisfaction among all airlines by J.D. Power and Associates, JetBlue asked HUGE to redesign JetBlue.com with the goal of injecting more of the JetBlue personality into its website. They knew that most customers, rather than endure a lengthy phone call to book a flight, would prefer to make a travel reservation on their own terms, digitally. So they came to HUGE to move their business online in the same reliable JetBlue manner.
Since the majority of revenue would come from the website, careful research, planning and analysis were crucial. The smallest of changes could have a massive—positive or negative—impact on the overall company revenue. Perhaps more than any other, this engagement would require the full arsenal of tools in the HUGE methodology.
We began the redesign with a detailed research and planning engagement. The purpose was to develop a thorough understanding of where JetBlue.com needed to be in the next 18 months and a precise implementation plan outlining all the steps required to make that vision a reality.
This included activities such as:
- Stakeholder Interviews: We met with key members of marketing, IT, operations, revenue management and customer service, as well as members of the executive leadership team to fully understand JetBlue’s business and how the digital channel can make an impact. We then synthesized this input into a single set of imperatives and business drivers.
- User Research: We engaged in a user test of the current JetBlue.com site and interviewed members of JetBlue’s target demographic. We also took a look at JetBlue’s market research in order to arrive at a better understanding of how their customers were using the website.
- Customer Service Assessment: Customer service is one of JetBlue’s biggest cost centers, and an area in which immediate cost savings can be realized. We visited JetBlue’s customer service facilities in Salt Lake City and performed a detailed evaluation of the various types of phone calls and e-mails they receive and their relative frequency. We found that several usability problems, along with a set of frequently asked questions, accounted for a significant percentage of phone and e-mail volume. Addressing these would have a measurable impact on the bottom line.
- Technology Appraisal: JetBlue.com interfaces with myriad technologies and systems, including e-commerce, flight management, customer management, loyalty programs, analytics, content management, and data feeds from third-party providers. Such systems don’t just impact the website, but the operations of the entire airline. A key part of the engagement was understanding these issues and working within their constraints.
We then began to translate this information into a realistic vision for the future, engaging in a series of brainstorming sessions and strategy workshops with JetBlue personnel to help define the vision, establish metrics for success, and develop a framework for revenue growth and cost savings.
The end result? A clear definition of the future of JetBlue.com: how it should function, the strategic goals behind the site, how it will drive customer acquisition, and organizational imperatives. The vision also included an idea of how JetBlue’s online and offline marketing efforts could be enhanced and integrated into the overall plan. This road map defined three phases: Phase 1 would end with a public “launch” of the new JetBlue across all digital platforms, and Phases 2 and 3 would be focused on results-driven optimizations and enhancements.
The new JetBlue.com launched in October 2006 to significant public accolades, including an “Honorable Merit” from ID Magazine in its annual interactive design awards—one of only five websites to be so recognized. More importantly, the project led to significant wins across all metrics: an increase in revenue, site traffic and, most notably, 45% decline in customer service phone calls.
By any standard, JetBlue.com is one of the most successful travel sites on the Internet, generating $2.5 Billion annually—80 percent of the airline’s tickets sales. HUGE continues to work with JetBlue, and has recently launched the next major release of JetBlue.com, which features significant new revenue-generating initiatives, including a brand new booking flow and flight servicing experience.