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December 09, 2011

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Barger, Benioff, and I

Earlier this year, I traveled to our nation’s capital to attend salesforce.com’s cloudforce event – we’re an @AppExchange partner and their venues are amazing for our pipeline so we participate in as many as possible.

This trip was different than others as we were going to meet with Marc @Benioff to demonstrate Glance for Salesforce; collaboration in the form of desktop screen sharing which can be leveraged across all three primary SFDC clouds - sales, service, and chatter.

We de-planed our JetBlue flight and headed to baggage claim to grab one garment bag – mine. Of course, when things go wrong with business travel, they go really wrong. I stood there staring at an empty carousel. 

I found the JetBlue office and spoke to a very nice gentleman who had me manually complete a claim ticket, handed me my receipt and proceeded to tell me that the bag should be on one of the next planes. Despite the simple and elegant onboarding process for selling tickets, so far nothing in the JetBlue “lost luggage service model” was agile, mobile, or social except, of course, for my garment bag. 

As we raced across the terminal to grab a train, I told our “Gen Y” sales guy about the episode to which he simply replied…“tweet it.” So as we rode the escalator up to the platform, I pulled out my @BlackBerry and did just that. I received a direct response from JetBlue customer service asking me to “follow” so that they could help. I did so and before we could reach our stop at the convention center they were on it:

@JetBlue: Looks like you've contacted the right people @ DCA. They will call you with any new info. Or you can call them 703-xxx-1212 ext xxxxxxxx

My correspondence with JetBlue was amazingly quick and real time. Their systems, ironically deployed within the Salesforce service cloud, worked flawlessly – that is, until the process was handed to their 3rd party delivery company.

I’ve been told I’m type A so as the afternoon turned to early evening, and early evening to late, I became less convinced my suit was going to make it. I began to imagine greeting Mr. Benioff in my AC/DC t-shirt, jeans and flip-flops. Right or wrong, I sent the following tweet, including JetBlue CEO David Barger:

@TomScontras: @jetblue still waiting on my #lostluggage. #DCA says with "contractor" and closed my case? Yet I have nothing! @davidjbarger little help?

And then immediately, the insanely amazing occurred:

@DavidJBarger: @TomScontras Apologies for the service failure; have copied @JetBlueCOO @JetBlue to provide assistance w/ #DCA lost luggage.

Needless to say, I got my bag.

I have the privilege of traveling the country and speaking to various organizations about social selling and service. It always strikes me when people ask if social networks will truly ever play a role within b2b.

I do my best to explain that today’s customers have options – they are no longer relegated to call an organization to gather information on a product or to be helped. Instead, they engross themselves in real time conversations, through various business and social networks, engaging sales or services organizations as part of their own process – at any time, from any device and never hesitating to outwit, or simply avoid theirs.

I’m not sure why some organizations can’t figure this out. Although as I book my travel to this month’s @Dreamforce event in San Francisco, I know one thing: JetBlue has.


-Tom Scontras, VP Sales & Marketing, Glance Networks

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