By Shashank Nigam

Over the last week, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines set out to help any traveller in the world. Whether or not they were flying KLM.

Now, read that last sentence again!

#happytohelp

While most airlines struggle to scale to provide decent customer service via social media to their own passengers, KLM took on the world. Already the best airline on social media, KLM realised they were already well known in their home country of the Netherlands for their customer service. And they wanted to spread the word around the world, even among non-customers.

So for one whole week, via the KLM HappyToHelp Customer Service initiative the airline took over Twitter, by offering to help anyone flying via Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, on any airline. Aptly named #happytohelp, the initiative had its physical headquarters at Schiphol Plaza, where multiple screens tracked tweets and Facebook messages from travellers at Schiphol, and from those around the world!

A 30-strong KLM team in each shift, comprised of Customer Service, Corporate Communications and agency staff, responded with video answers to problems, and often went airside to help passengers out. A total of 250 KLM staff participated in the initiative, with additional help from teams in Hong Kong, New York and Sao Paolo. They managed to help at least 100 passengers over the week. Almost 50 videos of the multiple initiatives have been uploaded on YouTube and Facebook by KLM.

Customer Service or Marketing?

When you think of airlines with world-class customer service, many come to our mind – from Singapore Airlines in Asia to LAN Airlines in South America. But few outside Europe would think of KLM as the first airline when asked who provides the best customer service in-flight or online. In the age of the connected traveller, it is the latter that matters just as much.

KLM has the best social media customer service team in the world, and that’s what sets them apart. Through the #happytohelp initiative, KLM re-iterated this fact to people who were not even flying the airline. While many might wonder, “why help other airlines’ passengers?”

I’d say, why wait till someone is on board the plane to impress them? Let’s get them at the airport or on Twitter! 

In hindsight, it’s a very smart move from KLM. If a passenger is flying via Schiphol, and not on KLM, it’s very likely that they are flying on a competitor. So why not grab their attention while they are in KLM’s home turf?

The #happytohelp initiative was just as much about customer service, as about ensuring that KLM remains top of mind. It was just as much of a marketing campaign. If you think about the thousands of views for the 50 YouTube videos that KLM put out, or the hundreds of thousands of shares for some of their videos, you’ll realize the marketing power of this initiative.

Airline marketing today is about going above and beyond, telling the world about it, and ensuring everyone you tell shares the story too! 

Post by KLM.

 

So, what did KLM achieve? The airline let everyone know that it has some of the highest customer service standards in the world. And the next time you want to book a flight, do think beyond price, and about the importance of customer service too. Because in the age of the connected traveller, having “the most helpful airline in the world” tag goes a long way.

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam is the CEO of SimpliFlying and a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought-leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior aviation executives globally, from Chile to Canada and from Sydney to San Francisco. Shashank's perspectives have found their way into major media outlets, including CNN Travel, CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg UTV, Mashable and in leading publications like Airline Business, ATW, Aviation Week, and others. Shashank studied Information Systems Management and Business Management at Singapore Management University and Carnegie Mellon University. Hailing from India, he splits his time between Singapore and Vancouver, among other cities.
Shashank Nigam
Shashank Nigam

Related Posts
×

Glimpses of SimpliFlying MasterClasses

[justified_image_grid preset=16 load_more=once facebook_id=281699728546545 facebook_album=625135130869668,523567647693084,495402663842916,614424888607359,487598837956632,485943598122156,717097075006806,468024249914091,422283264488190,573269512722897,556111114438737,564296266953555,554272487955933,554703807912801  facebook_caching=1440 facebook_image_size=normal facebook_count=no fb_actual_cover_photo=yes]

×

Airline Marketing Benchmark Reports

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

Crisis Communications Reports

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×
×

State of Airline Marketing 2014

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

State of Airline Marketing 2013

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

State of Airport Marketing 2013

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

6X Whitepaper

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

Loyalty eBook

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

Top 30 Case Pack

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

Custom Audiences Loyalty Whitepaper

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

Airline Social Media Outlook 2015

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

Loyalty Marketing Benchmark Reports

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

Expert Insights on Airline Marketing

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

Airport Marketing Benchmark Reports

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×
×
×

Airline Marketing Innovations Lab

    We will follow up shortly via email regarding further information.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

Soar

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

Airline Social Media Outlook 2016

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×
×

State of Airline Marketing 2016

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

Crisis Starter Guide 2016

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

Crisis Starter Guide 2016 - Non Airlines

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

Nomination for SimpliFlying Awards 2016

×

SimpliWishes

×
×

SOAR Book Launch

  • Date: Feb 20, 2017 Time: 6 PM Venue: Suntec Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

SOAR Order

  • Price: $24.98 Quantity:
    *Get a discount for an order of over 100 books
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

SimpliFlying Airline Social Media Outlook 2017

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

SimpliFlying Airline Social Media Outlook 2017

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

PRICED TO SHARE

You can order one copy for $25. Though, our real hope is you’ll order a bunch of them and distribute/sell/give away copies to your friends and colleagues. So if you order five, we’ll send you ten. And if you order 40, we’ll send you a hundred. That’s as low as $10 a book, just so you can share the knowledge!

 

Enjoy!

×
×
Webinar SimpliFlying -15below
×
Download a sample chapter of SOAR

Leave your credentials here and we will email it shortly.

×
SOIR 2017

Airline Marketing Trends Report (State of the Industry)

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×

SimpliFlying Global Institute

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
×