The blogosphere is buzzing about JetBlue CEO David Neeleman using YouTube to reach out to his customers to address the difficulties the airline had last week. The overall reaction has been favorable to how Neeleman handed the situation, and I agree, JetBlue did handle the situation better than most companies have in similar situations.
I do think it's very interesting that Neeleman used YouTube to reach his customers. This is a classic case of reaching your customers using their tools in their space. But one thing that the commenters at YouTube pointed out,(along with Jackie), was that Neeleman never uttered those 2 magical words; 'I'm sorry'. Which IMO kept a good move from being a brilliant one. There were also plenty of comments about how nervous Neeleman looked, and he clearly was. But that, if anything, makes him look authentic. It made him look like any of his customers would have probably looked if they were having to make a video to be put on one of the most popular sites on the internet.
But since he couldn't couple that authenticity with the humility of an apology, a chance to make a brilliant impression is lost. Don't get me wrong, the video is a very good move and most companies would have never thought to reach out to their customers in their space, with their tools. Still, it was so close to being almost perfect.
UPDATE: Tom Biro posts the email that JetBlue sent him, which begins with "We are sorry and embarrassed. But most of all, we are deeply sorry." As for why that wasn't the first thing out of his mouth on the YouTube video, after introducing himself, I have no idea.
The Viral Garden, Marketing, JetBlue