Sure, nearly every airline has a presence on social media. Some just use their Facebook page or Instagram feed to promote their business – But the airlines who have mastered social media use their channels to provide 24-hour customer support. And then there’s KLM, who are taking social customer service to a whole new level.
The Dutch airline has been at the forefront of direct contact with customers via social media since 2009 and it just rolled out another service to push it way ahead of its competitors. Want to reach an agent on Facebook? No problems. How about sending a one liner via Twitter? They’ve got it covered.
In fact, you can even get in contact with a KLM rep via the business site, LinkedIn – 24/7. And if you don’t speak English, the airline provides the same level of service in 8 different languages – including Dutch (of course), as well as German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. For China and South Korea-based customers, KLM also offers the same services on the local WeChat and KakaoTalk services.
What’s even better is that the airline tells you how long you should expect to wait until you receive a response. Since late 2013, the airline has provided a live response time display for all its social media services. You can see the expected wait time on KLM’s website and on their Twitter page.
Now the airline wants to push more of its services onto Twitter, Facebook Messenger and WeChat (in China). In effect, you’ll be able to access all your flight information and get in contact with customer support all from within the app. Here’s how it works:
Once you’ve booked your journey on KLM.com you’ll have the option to link the booking to Twitter, Messenger or WeChat. The airline will then send your flight documents to the app and update you with important information at timely intervals.
So when check-in opens or a delay is expected, you’ll receive a direct message. And should you need to enquire about compensation or any other question, you can just fire off a reply from within your app of choice.
The service was initially rolled out on Facebook Messenger and 1.4 million customers have already taken advantage of the service. KLM says that 15% of mobile boarding passes are already being sent to customers via Messenger and anticipates that number to rise sharply with the introduction of its Twitter and WeChat service.
Artificial Intelligence the Answer to Customer Service Problems?
The system will also take advantage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) bots to automatically respond to queries with what should hopefully be the correct and most appropriate answer. LasT year, KLM rolled out AI across its customer service division in an attempt to speed up its response times.
An AI system scans incoming customer queries and proposes an answer based on a database of 60,000 common questions. Thankfully, KLM has given its team of 235 customer service agents control over the answer and allows them to change the response to what they think is most appropriate – and of course, this being AI, the system learns from the agent’s actions to improve it’s own answer in the future.
For now, the Twitter, Messenger and WeChat service only sends information about existing bookings that have been made via the official KLM website. But don’t surprised be if you’ll soon be able to book KLM flights from within Facebook Messenger.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.