Liliana Petrova, Head of Customer Experience Programs at JetBlue Airways, shared her thoughts on the customer journey and how to address various pain points along this journey during her keynote presentation to Argyle’s CX membership at the 2017 Customer Experience Leadership Forum: Creating Experiences for the Hyper-Connected Customer in New York City on October 17. In her presentation, Petrova discussed the design and implementation of JetBlue’s CX strategy and provided tips to help CX professionals achieve their immediate and long-term goals.
Flying may prove to be a long, arduous process due in large part to the regulatory requirements that JetBlue and other airlines face. Meanwhile, many airlines struggle to find ways to balance compliance with the CX.
At JetBlue, the airline takes a distinct approach to assist customers and ensure that they get outstanding support as they fly from one destination to the next.
Although many airlines view customer transactions, JetBlue strives to engage and connect with customers in any way it can. That way, JetBlue can discover unique ways to deliver unforgettable customer experiences.
“We look for transactions and try to make them interactions,” Petrova noted.
Technology plays a key role in how JetBlue has built its reputation as a leading airline. Thanks in part to its commitment to innovation, JetBlue has leveraged technology to enhance its CX levels and differentiate itself from other airlines.
“If there is a way to create a seamless and invisible experience, we want to find a way to get there.”
“If we combine technology with the brand and brand experience that we have, we can really deliver a disruptive experience,” Petrova indicated.
For example, Petrova said JetBlue has started using facial recognition technology at some airports. This technology has enabled travelers to quickly and effortlessly board flights – even if travelers forget their boarding passes.
“Going through the gate is not a fun experience. And that’s not just with JetBlue. It’s with the entire airline industry in general,” Petrova said.
With the aforementioned innovation, JetBlue has transformed the boarding process for travelers. The airline continues to explore innovations that result in better customer experiences – something that could help JetBlue further distinguish itself from rivals and foster long-lasting customer partnerships.
“When you redesign and make the transaction side faster, then the customer has more time to interact [with a brand],” Petrova stated.
Moreover, JetBlue prioritizes amazing experiences, regardless of when or where a flight takes place. The airline is committed to its clientele and allocates significant time and resources to drive innovation across all aspects of the CX.
“We want to create something that feels like magic, without breaking any foundational rules,” Petrova pointed out. “If there is a way to create a seamless and invisible experience, we want to find a way to get there.”
JetBlue recently partnered with U.S. Customs and Border Protection as part of its efforts to drive innovation. The partnership allowed JetBlue to work with a government agency to simplify and improve the process of boarding flights. Thus far, the partnership has delivered far-flung benefits for both JetBlue and its customers.
“We’re the first airline to partner with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is the organization that you should be partnering with when you’re doing a comparison to photos of your passport,” Petrova stated. “And this partnership has been a tremendous success.”
In addition, JetBlue provides its crew members with iPads that they can use to deliver personalized customer experiences. iPads empower crew members to offer guidance to passengers, increasing the likelihood that these travelers can alleviate stress during their trips.
“Now that we equip our crew members with iPads, they can see exactly what the customer sees, which brings a sense of seamlessness to a transaction,” Petrova noted. “This allows for everyone to feel more relaxed … and our staff members can have conversations with customers.”
How a brand engages with its clients may dictate its immediate and long-term success.
“If we combine technology with the brand and brand experience that we have, we can really deliver a disruptive experience.”
For JetBlue, the airline is flexible and constantly searches for ways to bolster the CX. This approach has shaped the way that JetBlue has developed its brand, a trend that appears likely to continue in the foreseeable future.
“Everything that we design starts and ends with the brand,” Petrova said. “It’s very differentiating to do that … and when you get to the CX outcome, it’s integrated and seamless.”
Ultimately, if an organization prioritizes the CX, it may be better equipped than others to connect with its customers. This organization can learn about its customers and find the best ways to deliver superb experiences. Perhaps most important, an organization that understands the CX can use technology to drive ongoing improvements, leading to increased revenues and customer loyalty.
Liliana Petrova is an innovative, results-oriented and transformational Customer Experience leader. She is the first to hold the position of Director, Customer Experience Programs in JetBlue. In her role she is responsible for designing, implementing and overseeing cross-functional programs that improve the customer experience across the travel ribbon. Liliana brings to life many of the ideas originating from JetBlue’s customer journey mapping and other customer insights and understanding. Liliana’s current focus is self-service and disruptions management. Ultimately, Liliana’s work will further the Customer Experience team’s mission to deliver a personal, helpful and simple travel experience.
Liliana joined JetBlue in 2011 as a Compensation Analyst. She brings unique perspective to the position with his diverse and successful background as brand strategist, financial planner, and operational excellence leader. Some of her notable accomplishments include leading the JFK Lobby and check –in transformation, launching the “Here We Go Colombia” promotion in 2015, and working with our JetBlue Technology Ventures to identify viable partnerships with startup companies in San Francisco.
Before JetBlue, Liliana spent four years at the Royal Bank of Canada in their Capital Markets Division and two years at National Grid managing their budgets. She holds an MBA in Strategy & Corporate Finance from the Stern School of Business at NYU and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Francis College in Brooklyn.
In her spare time, Liliana enjoys exploring new cultures through travel. She is also a wine enthusiast and loves to dance – especially to music from the 90’s. Liliana volunteers with PENCIL and received the Bronze President’s Volunteer Service Award for her work with J.H.S. 190 Russell Sage, a high school in Forest Hills.