Another airline making serious waves in the social media space is KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Their latest endeavour, meant to promote the launch of a new “24-hour service to social media,” involves posting videos on YouTube of live human responses to tweets sent to @KLM. This innovative campaign was announced via Twitter on September 19 and ran from 12 noon until late in the evening, according to the KLM press release. While the campaign was running, any tweets sent to @KLM might receive a ‘KLM Live Reply’ – KLM employees at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport lined up holding letters to become a ‘living alphabet’ 140-character response.
“To show the world KLM’s helpful social media service, we’ve replaced normal Facebook and Twitter typed responses with a living alphabet made up of 140 KLM employees. This dedicated crew responds to tweets and posts in a unique way, by running around and assembling the answer live before your eyes, within the hour,” reports Social Times. The campaign was explained in more detail on YouTube, and the dozens of live replies were both uploaded to YouTube and tweeted.
How much effort did KLM put into the ‘Live Reply’ campaign? It involved 450 KLM volunteers, working in three shifts, to answer questions via Tweets, Facebook posts, or Hyves, with all responses using just 140 characters. “Today’s campaign should show, in a special — and, more important, personal way — that we’re willing to go the extra mile for our customers,” said Martijn van der Zee, SVP E-commerce AF KLM.
Going forward, KLM will use social media to answer every customer message personally within one hour, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, in Dutch or English. Customers can reach KLM through social media to ask any questions about their travel, and KLM will inform its ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ about the latest KLM news.
Was this an effective way for KLM to promote their new social media customer service capabilities? And is the prospect of a live human response enough to get customers engaged and tweeting, and worth the impressive amount of manpower the effort required?