Insights & Ideas

Social Listening Saves Blue Bridesmaid’s Bank Account

The term bridezilla is not flattering but it can be appropriate.

Recently Courtney Duffy, a grad student at Dartmouth, booked a JetBlue flight to her friend Alex’s wedding.  (She was one of the bridesmaids).  When the bride found out Courtney was returning home on Sunday and would miss a Monday event, she emailed her and asked her to step aside. And please mail back the bridesmaid jumpsuit so a replacement bridesmaid can wear it.

Courtney posted the exchange on Twitter with a plea to JetBlue to refund her airfare.  They did that and more. In four hours, they reached out to her:

Hey Courtney, we’ve been thinking.  The jumpsuit may have been borrowed, but we’ll bring the (Jet)Blue.  When you’re ready to patch things up, we’d like to help make your old friendship feel like a new.  A future girls’ weekend is on us.”

The story just begs for a follow-up.  Will Courtney and Alex reconnect as BFFs? Will they find a replacement bridesmaid in time (and will that friend wear the infamous bridesmaid jumpsuit)? 

The clear winner is JetBlue.  Here’s why:

  • They monitored social media channels and responded quickly
  • They delivered on the customer’s request for a refund
  • They showed the brands’ personality.  Encouraging the former pals to reunite with free airfare for a girls’ weekend is an unexpected and positive twist to the story.

The go-fast, digital era we’re living in requires businesses to pay attention to social media channels and act quickly.  It’s a reputation game changer.  JetBlue responded within a few hours to Courtney’s challenge and sweetened the deal.  That nimble response reveals their social media team is empowered to act.  In many businesses, in the time it took for internal approvals, the opportunity would have vanished, and so would the PR benefit. When brands engage with customers–and act with empathy–they create superfans.