KLM: Continuing to Reimagine Customer Service Using Facebook

At the beginning of the semester we read an interesting interview titled “Reimagining Customer Service at KLM Using Facebook and Twitter”. The interview was between Professor Kane and the SVP of Air France-KLM. The SVP explained how the brand was successfully communicating with customers through social media. The brand has been very innovative in their social media efforts with programs like “Meet and Seat”, which allows passengers to pick their seat on a flight and link their Facebook and LinkedIn profile to the seat assignment so that they can pick their seat based on the people on the plane. The interview does a great job of highlighting how KLM’s social business is a leader in the airline industry, as they are constantly thinking of new ways to utilize the digital landscape. Recently, I came across an article that explicates KLM’s continual success in being a category leader in the social media and digital landscape. The article explains how KLM is now partnering with Facebook Messenger to give passengers the option of receiving flight updates through the Messenger app. So how exactly will it work?

When booking a ticket, if passengers agree to connect Facebook’s Messenger app, KLM will start a chat thread where it will then send you a booking confirmation, a boarding pass which you can use to get through security and onto flights, your flight status, and any changes in the flight schedule. While most airlines already do have the option of mobile boarding passes, KLM is the first to partner with Facebook’s Messenger, which will then allow the airline company to talk directly with every passenger individually. This custom and real-time experience is something that definitely will give the brand a competitive advantage.

David Marcus, who runs the Messenger team at Facebook explained how beneficial this will be for all travelers when he stated, “goodbye forgetting the combination of your frequent flyer alphanumerical number and password to obtain your boarding pass, and hold for a long time on the phone to change flights. This is a new day for all of us global travelers, and KLM is paving the way”. (see his entire post about the new feature here) . KLM also released the news with both a video explaining how the partnership will work and a promotional contest. The video posted by KLM (below) shows how the service works and explains the many benefits of using the Messenger. The promotional contest states that if you use the service to book a flight anytime between now and April 27 you will win two return flight tickets to anywhere you want to go.

 

While the new service seems like it will make everyone’s travel experience much easier and more organized, KLM must ensure that they are providing excellent, quick service to all passengers. As the SVP of KLM stated in the interview with Professor Kane, the brand focuses on three main things to ensure success: “excellent service, the brand and reputation, and commerce”.  Although David Marcus explains the partnership as a revolutionary feature for the travel industry, I think it will be very interesting to see how successful this service truly will be. Moreover, if this service does prove to be successful, I am curious to see what will happen to companies’ apps. If people can eventually interact with all companies via the Facebook Messenger, there will no longer be a need for that specific companies app. It will also be very interesting to see how many airlines attempt to follow in KLM’s footsteps and attempt to partner with Messenger. While the future success of this service is unknown, it is clear that KLM is continuing to lead the way for the airline industry in the digital landscape as they explained in the interview with Professor Kane.

 

Sources:

http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/30/11331168/klm-facebook-messenger-boarding-pass-chat-integration

http://www.travelpulse.com/news/travel-technology/use-klms-new-facebook-messenger-service-for-a-chance-at-2-free-tickets.html

http://www.wxyz.com/news/facebook-wants-to-help-turn-you-into-an-organized-flier-via-messenger

10 comments

  1. willybbolton · ·

    I enjoyed this Paige – I think this is super relevant. Connecting with your customers is so important in all business today, because there is a lot of noise and a lot to choose from. Using mobile apps, Direct messaging, and especially Facebook are great efficient ways to improve the service and experience of your customers. I think this post also highlights the importance of direct contact with you customers. Lyft and Uber even text us when our driver is here, making our experience easier.

  2. Great post, Paige! I’m actually surprised that it has taken airlines so long to integrate social media platforms into their services. But then again, the airline industry seems to be one that is much slower moving due to all of the regulations. Using social media platforms for programs like the “Meet and Seat” could totally change the airline industry has a whole. People (who enjoy being social and chatting on flights) could eventually look at flying as a great way to meet other people, and even network. It will be interesting to see how (or if) other airlines eventually integrate social media platforms into their business models.

  3. What a cool post, especially because I have to travel a lot for my job. I am a loyal JetBlue customer, and am surprised it hasn’t thought of this…or maybe it has, and will hopefully be rolling those features out soon ;) I definitely agree with you that this will give KLM a competitive advantage because not only is the company taking an extremely annoying process and making it so easy for customers, but by connecting it through Facebook, KLM will start to be thought of as more of a friend than a company in many users’ minds. Facebook is so personal and to let a company have access to your account says a lot about the trust people have for your brand. Very cool ideas and I had no idea this was happening, so I’m really glad I got to read about this!!

  4. Great post! I’ve recently read a number of posts about KLM’s great member service and how they are a leader in how to leverage social/ digital to create some pretty great customer moments. With that said, when I recently took KLM home from Italy, I was a little disappointed with their customer service in real life. Maybe they were having a bad day…

    It’s also rather interesting that just KLM launched this new Messenger integration and not all of Delta’s airlines. Perhaps they are seeing this as a pilot because KLM has always been innovative in customer service – and a larger roll out will happen later.

  5. Great post Paige. I think it is cool that KLM is partnering up with Messenger but I too am curious to see how it will turn out. Although I think it would be cool for KLM to reach out to every customer individually, I don’t know if messenger is the right app. A bunch of my friends don’t have the messenger app itself and in my experience, passbook on iphones works fine.

  6. Awesome post, and I thought you were very informative on an issue we may have glossed over in class. I think the video is especially informative, but your writing details the usage and the next steps for the company nicely. I think it is important for any company to have an accessible social media platform with which to communicate with their customers. Being able to put out little fires caused by small grievances is crucial for a company, as is also prevalent with LuluLemon and the backlash surrounding their comments about Beyonce. I think this feature will do very well for the company.

  7. Great post; I liked the way you tied in the updates the company is currently going through with Professor Kane’s interview that we read earlier in the semester. I think KLM utilizing Facebook’s Messenger app will help tremendously in its efforts to differentiate itself from the competition. I feel like the most effective aspect will be the ability to directly communicate with an airline representative because there are constantly issues when traveling that require passengers to wait in long lines at ticket counters or call and wait on hold to speak to a representative to resolve your issue. In terms of having the boarding pass easily accessible on your phone, I agree with what Mikey said in his comment that Apple’s Passbook feature seems to be working just fine.

  8. back at it again with the great writing. Who knew you were so smart !!! but this ticketless trend is cutting edge and great for the environment. I used an eticket for the first time on a flight to florida about 8 months ago and since then i have used more etickets for shows and transportation than i have used paper tickets. You are ahead of the times!!

  9. Great post! I’m a huge fan of customers speaking directly to airline representatives, I hate staying on the phone waiting to be connected to a representative. The wait time seems neverending. This would be super effective and appealing for customers when it cones to travel ease. I personally can’t stand Facebook messenger, it’s just one of those FB features I always found sort of annoying, but this KLM partnership could help change my perspective.

  10. Awesome post!! I really enjoyed reading it and I do not think I was part of the group who real about KLM so it was new and exciting for me! I wish I thought about this idea first, it is genius! Whenever I fly I always end up finding people who went to Boston College or have some allegiance to Boston and just want to sit and chat. I have been in flights where the people next to me ended up working for the same company but in different cities and people are connected in the strangest ways. I think connecting with people where you can see their Facebook or LinkedIn is slightly creepy, but will change the landscape of how we fly. I think it would be the coolest thing for all BC kids to sit together on a flight that we did not know we were going to the same place or be with someone from a firm I want to work at! I also found it so interesting how KLM is super interactive and would give you live updates on your flights and also give you all your booking information. I travel a lot because I am from North Carolina, and KLM is an app that I would love to use and I think you made a great point on talking about how this would affect the company specific apps! Great post!

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