KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

"We make travel easier for our customers by engaging them through the social and mobile tools they already use."

—Viktor van der Wijk

Director of Digital Marketing at Air
France KLM

KLM soars with social media

When the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 2010, so did social media traffic. In the biggest disruption to European air traffic since WWII, a cloud of ash grounded flights across the continent. Stranded travelers rushed to social networks such as Twitter and Facebook in search of help, and KLM jumped right in.

Using the same social platforms, KLM was able to "respond more quickly to customer enquiries, re-direct them to other means of travel, and protect the KLM brand image," explains Viktor van der Wijk, Director of Digital Marketing at Air France KLM. It was this quick-to-respond moment that prompted Peter Hartman, CEO of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, to declare social media the center of KLM's customer service efforts. The goal was clear: cut resolution time to one day with an initial response time within an hour of a social media post.

Today, KLM has surpassed Hartman's initial vision, defining new job roles, reorganizing marketing and service functions to support social media, and launching a Social Media Hub to handle all incoming requests.

Taking customer service to new heights

With Salesforce technologies at the heart of their operation, KLM transformed into a socially connected business that can intelligently and efficiently collect and track all social conversations, measure brand sentiment on the Web, and achieve their goal of one-hour response/24-hour resolution time. And, they introduced the first social media-driven flight schedule, which led to loyal, positive ambassadors for the airline.

"Now we can identify their experience at check-in, in the lounge, or when they're collecting their bags. Any problems in any of these areas, and we are straight on the case via social media. That's the power of the Service Cloud," says van der Wijk. The next time a giant cloud envelops the skies, KLM has a few clouds of its own to combat the storm.

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