JetBlue is teaming up with Gladly to create a new customer service system.JetBlue is also investing in Gladly through JetBlue Technology Ventures.Gladly’s customer service platform is designed to revolutionize the airline customer service experience by streamlining communications.
On Tuesday, JetBlue and Gladly announced their partnership that could revolutionize the way airlines interact with its customers.
“We are an enterprise software and services company and our mission is to reimagine and reinvent how customer service can be delivered by creating a platform that puts the customer back at the center of the process,” Gladly CEO Joseph Ansanelli told Business Insider in an interview.
Not only will JetBlue adopt Gladly’s customer service platform, the airline is also sinking cash into the tech firm to help make it happen.
“We are fortunate enough to be working so closely with Gladly that we are co-creating this [platform]together,” JetBlue vice president of customer support Frankie Littleford told us. “In fact, not only are we implementing this technology, we are investing in the company through our venture capital arm, JetBlue Technology Ventures.”
Although neither party publicly disclosed the value of the deal, sources familiar with the matter peg JetBlue’s investment at $2.5 million of the $63 million Gladly has raised thus far.
With the advent of social media and the ever increasing number of people taking to the skies, customer service practices in the airline industry have come under more scrutiny. All of America’s major airlines have been forced to work through a myriad of high profile customer related incidents ranging from Delta’s clash with Ann Coulter to United’s incident involving David Dao. Even though JetBlue is generally regarded as one of the industry leaders in customer service, it too is not immune from these issues.
As with all matters in business, knowledge is power and the ace in Glady’s hand is its ability to efficiently deliver a wide variety of essential customer information to the airline representative. According to Ansanelli, Gladly’s technology will allow JetBlue crew members to see the complete history of a customer’s interactions with the airline across all mediums of communication.
It’s a feature not available under JetBlue’s existing customer service system.
Currently, a customer’s interactions are siloed within each particular means of communications. For instance, the team on the phone can’t see the interactions a customer has had with representatives on Twitter, Littleford said.
“The goal is to give these amazing crew members enough information so that in about five seconds they can have enough understanding of who this customer is so they can engage with them on a much more personal level,” Ansanelli explained.
Through Gladly, JetBlue’s entire team will now have access to a customer’s complete dossier with contact information, past and upcoming flights, along with any and all communication he or she has had with the airline.
This way, the customer service personnel has a better idea of what the customer needs from the get go without the customer having to go through the aggravation of re-explaining his or her situation repeatedly. For example, if a customer tweets at JetBlue about his lost bag, the crew member on the phone will already know about the bag at the start of the call.
The Gladly platform is expected to reach far beyond phone- and email-based communications. The system will eventually be available on handheld devices issued to terminal staff and flight attendants as well. For example, if cabin crew notice a passenger behaving in an unusual manner, they can look up that person’s past communications and interact with that customer accordingly.
Littleford, who was the 8th employee hired at JetBlue and a member of the airline’s founding management team, believes Gladly’s platform fits perfectly with the airline’s long-held mission of bringing humanity back to flying.
“We really look at ourselves as a customer service company that happens to fly airplanes and I think all along, even back to April of 1999 when we created our mission to bring humanity back to air travel, we looked at the industry and thought we really have to raise the bar,” Littleford said.
“I think that everybody wants to be treated great and having our journeys be a little less stressful and more personal, helpful, and simple is what it’s all about.”
JetBlue will debut the email portion of Gladly’s platform this fall with the rest of the features rolling out in phases over the next year.