John DiJulius | Customer Experience Blog

It isn’t WHAT happens…
April 11, 2012, 8:30 am
Filed under: Customer Experience, Customer Service, Customer Service Training

It’s how you HANDLE what happens 

    This was never more evident than the problem Jet Blue Airlines faced recently when one of its pilots had a psychotic event during a flight from

New York to Las Vegas. The pilot, at 35,000 feet in the sky, had a breakdown and began babbling in a frightening manner, then left the

cockpit and entered the flight cabin where passengers had to subdue him until the co-pilot could land the plane in Texas. Now this would be devastating to most airlines, and since they are all publicly traded, one would expect their stock to fall dramatically on the heels of this news.

     Instead, Jet Blue’s stock soared from a close the day of the event of $5.07 a share, to $5.25 by 10:20 the next morning. Why? Because the company’s CEO, Dave Barger, immediately went on the morning talk shows – prior to the opening of the exchange – and explained exactly what had happened, gave updates to the public about how they were handling the situation, and gave compliments to the Jet Blue crew AND the passengers for how appropriately they handled the dramatic events. He was completely transparent about the airline’s stand on the situation and met the questions from the press with what appeared to be full disclosure.

     His courage in facing the public and press head-on and his willingness to face the tough questions, paid off for the company by the show of confidence the stock market reflected. You can’t always keep bad things from happening in you business, but you can definitely control how they are handled.

Experience First and Product 

     Recently an article that appeared in Fast Company interviewing Stanley Hainsworth, who has been a catalyst for two of the greatest brands of modern times: the creative director at Nike, and V.P. of global creativity at Starbucks. Stanley made some great points about how brands can emotionally connect with consumers. First he sites that the best brands are those that create something that consumers didn’t even know they needed. His experience working with Nike & Starbucks taught him this lesson (Read entire article here):

What I observed working with both companies is the rigor and unfailing attention to the product and unbelievable energy spent on creating the brand experience. I describe it as experience first and product second, because no one is going to pick up your product and try it if they don’t want to buy into the experience. This experience comes through advertising, the retail environment, and the online experience — every single brand touch-point. There is a very intentional effort to inspire people to get caught up in that experience and say, “I want to try that.”  

How Mystery Shopping helped Office Depot 

focus on creating a customer service revolution

     HBR Article – The 10th Commandment of Creating a World-Class Customer Experience Organization is Measuring the Customer’s Experience. Not only is it critical, but what you measure is also just asimportant. Office Depot was measuring customer service using metrics such as bathroom cleanliness, clean windows or the cleanliness of their floors. Those things ultimately didn’t drive repeat business and customer loyalty. Engaging the customers was not being measured and thus was not a priority of their associates. So Office Depot changed their measurements and training to focus on building relationships with the customers (see diagram of how to engage customers). (Read entire article here)



John R. DiJulius III best-selling author, consultant, and keynote speaker, is the President of The DiJulius Group, the leading customer experience consulting firm in the nation. He blogs on customer experience trends and best practices. Learn more about The DiJulius Group or The Secret Service Summit, America’s #1 Customer Service Conference.

Comments Off on It isn’t WHAT happens…

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: