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JetBlue, through its JetBlue Technology Ventures, continues to find and develop tech enterprises that that enhance its position in the air travel sector. The most recent acquisition is Mozio, a San Francisco-based startup founded in 2012. Mozio is an app that allows users to book a variety of ground transportation options to and from airports in urban centers worldwide.
The acquisition of Mozio by JetBlue Technology Ventures is a further indication that parent JetBlue continues to strengthen its technical capabilities in support of its overall mission to inspire humanity. At the core of that effort is finding the best ways to listen to the consumer.
“Because everything is starting with this new way of listening, we are, from the customer perspective, spending time in Silicon Valley looking at that,” Scott Resnick, Director of Loyalty Marketing for JetBlue, told Loyalty360. “We know there is technology out there that when customers reach out for help, and they’re using a certain tone and certain kinds of words, provides a footprint that can help find the best way to help that customer.”
It does come with a cost, Resnick noted.
“We’re in the sales pitch stage right now and everyone is kind of hiding what the cost is a little bit on that one because we know it is a big cost,” Resnick added. “But we’re grateful that we’re talking about it and on the forefront and that’s what JetBlue Technology Ventures is all about; finding out what start-ups are going to be emerging in these fields that best align with JetBlue and align with our culture and our desire to inspire humanity.”
Not as large as its legacy competitors, JetBlue is a well-established entity that retains the agility to be an innovator in the airline industry.
“We want to continue to remain disruptive in the enhancing of the customer experience and doing it in a way that, again, inspires humanity,” Danny Cox, Director Customer Support and Insights, JetBlue, told Loyalty360.
Not only is there a cost to that, but spending decisions must be made wisely.
“In terms of margin, we’re not Google,” Cox explained. “We have to make the right decision with technology. We have to make the right moves, and we have a very small margin of error.”
Cox pointed to JetBlue’s in-flight Internet service as one success story.
“We could have bought (in-flight Internet provider) Gogo, but we knew that there was something out there so we chose to be slightly behind the times for a little while and not have Internet access on the plane, to jump to what we have with ViaSat in the fly-fi product we have now,” Cox added.
The balance of humanity and technology is most evident at JetBlue’s JFK lobby in New York.
“We put in kiosks that make self-service a lot more available,” Resnick said. “The intent was put in technology that lets the self-serve customer get empowered to do it themselves, but frees up the mundane transactions that our crew members at the airport were doing, so they can be out and in front of that customer that truly needs help. They can be more empathetic and supportive in looking for an opportunity to find what that customer might need and proactively approaching them, instead of the customer having to ask. We are investing in technology to better empower crew members in customer experience and the human touch of that. Is there a tradeoff between them? Yes, but it is a continuous effort and we’re pushing forward.”
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