Tag Archives: KLM

Which Airlines Are Most Responsive On Twitter?

Which airline brands are the most responsive on Twitter? New data from SocialBakers looks at the difference between the amount of answered and unanswered questions – on Twitter only – among major airlines.

American Airlines is well in the lead, with 9,058 questions answered. KLM – known for creativity in social media marketing – came in second, with 6,691. KLM was one of the first to offer 24-hour social media customer service on Twitter and YouTube, and even began displaying customer service response times on the brand’s Twitter account back in November 2013.

Socially Responsive Airline Brands

Virgin America, another risk-taker in social media, is not even present among the top ten; the brand is known for being the first to offer WiFi on all flights, and for launching the first in-flight social network in February 2014.

Comparing the data to 2013, SocialBakers found that the top 10 airlines (listed above) in 2014 are answering more questions than the top ten last year. Does your preferred airline respond quickly on Twitter?

The data comes from early results of SocialBakers’ Socially Devoted initiative for Q1 2014.

71% of Airlines See Mobile as the Future of Airline Payments

Airlines see mobile as future of payments

photo: Wikipedia Commons

Mobile and social media will be a focus for airlines over the next few years, according to a recent survey from airline payment processing company WorldPay. Kiosks will become less important, and sales will shift to social media and mobile. A whopping 83% of airlines believe that improvement and deployment of new payment technology is a major business priority.

And mobile looks like the future of those improvements. Over two-thirds – 71% – of respondents believe the future of airlines payments lies in mobile.  Mobile payments are considered both a way to keep up with competitors (50%) and a way to increase revenues (45%). In the future, mobile services will include seat upgrades, booking management, onward travel and inflight purchases.

Social media will also play a major role in this shift. Most carriers already have a presence on the major social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) and this will increase in the next two years; 40% of carriers plan to be active on Google+ in the next year alone.

Nearly one-third (29%) of airlines will enable sales via social media in the next 12 months.  Social media-savvy KLM Royal Dutch Airlines began offering social media booking and sales as an option back in February.

Here are some additional highlights from the survey of 68 global carriers (including both low-cost and traditional airlines):

  • mobile acceptance on-board flights will increase from 5% to 36% in the next two years
  • 18% of airlines will accept e-wallets on board by 2016
  • 40% believe self-service kiosks will be less important in the future

“Mobile is not without its challenges…but with more than three quarters of the world’s population now having access to a mobile device, airlines can’t afford to ignore this high-growth channel, ” says Mike Parkinson, WorldPay VP Airlines.

Download the full report here — Alternative Payment and Distribution Landscape: Airline Distribution Channels.

KLM Lets You Book Flights Via Facebook and Twitter

KLM customers can book flights and pay on social mediaHere’s another first for airlines: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is now allowing customers to book flights and pay via social media.

A customer on Facebook or Twitter can now book or rebook a flight, reserve a seat, arrange extra baggage, and pay through the social networking platform. There’s no need to call or visit a separate website to make a payment; all contact with the customer can take place “exclusively” through the social media channel they choose. KLM believes this will lead to better, more convenient service, all in one place.

Here’s how it works:

  • KLM sends a link to the customer in a private message on Facebook or Twitter
  • customers select their preferred method of payment and complete the transaction
  • KLM receives a message to say that payment has been received
  • the customer receives payment confirmation

Why did KLM decide to take this route?  Customers requested it — KLM’s 130 social media agents answer around 35,000 queries on Facebook and Twitter every week.

KLM has the largest Facebook following of any airline (over 5.1 million fans) and 804,000 followers on Twitter (@KLM). The airline has long been at the forefront of social media integration, including displaying their social media customer service response time on Twitter, and launching a ‘social seating’ service called Meet & Seat.

KLM Twitter Updates Customer Service Response Time

Booking through social media is not a new concept – Loews Hotels & Resorts allow customers to book via Twitter – but KLM is the first to allow the entire process to happen via a social network, payment included.  Will this initiative be successful for the airline?

KLM Now Displays Social Media Customer Service Response Time

In other realtime airline news, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines today announced that it would begin displaying its social media team’s live response time in the header of its Twitter account and on the customer support page at KLM.com. It will also be visible on KLM’s global Facebook page shortly.

KLM Social Media response time

KLM offers customer service 24/7 in ten languages on Twitter, Facebook and VKontakte. This airline says it will also soon offer customer service on Google+ and Sina Weibo. KLM’s social media team handles about 30,000 messages each week.

In a blog post, the company’s SVP E-Commerce Martijn van der Zee was quoted as saying “we believe in the transparency of social media. Customers want to know what to expect from us. We now offer them real-time insight into our response time.”

The company announced the new policy in a tweet this morning, which has received overwhelmingly positive response.


Do you think more companies should be posting their social media response times?

Top 10 Realtime Report Blog Posts in 2011

Top 10 The Realtime Report Blog Posts in 2011 #RLTMIt’s that time of year, and we couldn’t help looking back to see what our most popular #RLTM posts were in 2011.  Check them out below:

  1. Privacy Fail: Klout Has Gone Too Far.
  2. Twitter Brand Pages: How the First 20 Brands Are Using Them (Full Gallery)
  3. KLM To Launch “Social Seating” Service
  4. Social Media Nightmare: Citibank “Has Customers Arrested.” Video Goes Viral. Now What?
  5. How Coca-Cola Doubled its Facebook Fans in 6 Months
  6. Facebook Marketing: Newsfeed Impressions Matter More Than the Number of Fans
  7. 77% of Fortune Global 100 Companies Use Twitter
  8. Blogger Relations #Fail: ConAgra Cooks Up a PR Disaster
  9. US Mobile Internet Use to Increase 25%, Smartphone Use Nearly 50% in 2011
  10. Klout is Broken. Here’s Why.

Surprised a different post didn’t make the top 10 list?  Let us know in the comments!

KLM To Launch ‘Social Seating’ Service

KLM To Launch 'Social Seating' ServiceLooking to do some in-flight networking? KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is planning to launch a “social seating” service, where passengers will be able to link their social media profile to their check-in information, and then choose a seating partner based on the social media profiles of other passengers.

This service, which KLM hopes to launch in the next year, will be available to all passengers checking in online, although passengers can choose whether they want their social media profiles to be made available to others on the flight. The social seating concept – sharing profiles from Facebook or LinkedIn – could create solid networking opportunities for business travelers, as reported by Radio Netherlands.

The service has not yet been ‘officially’ announced, but was discussed by a top executive at a recent conference.

What do you think?  Will passengers want to open their social profiles to other (unknown) passengers in the hopes of expanding their network?

Customers Complain On Twitter. Why Do 71% of Brands Ignore Them?

Consumers have an expectation that brands will listen to them on Twitter.  Gone are the days of sending off complaints via snail mail and waiting 6-8 weeks for a reply.  Now, customers can shoot off a 140-character tweet and expect a reply within minutes. New research by Maritz shows that nearly half of those who tweet a complaint at a brand expected the company to read and respond to their tweet.

Brands Not Responding To Customer Complaints via Maritz ResearchBut are brands listening and responding?  According to this study, just under one-third of consumers received a response from brands they tweeted.  Which means that 71% of companies are not listening (or responding) on Twitter, and are losing out on the “overwhelmingly positive” reaction of consumers when they feel that brands are hearing them.

When brands take the time to actually respond to consumers, 75% are satisfied with the response received.  Only a few – 15% – were “very or somewhat dissatisfied” with the company’s response.
75% of Customers Satisfied When Brands Respond via Maritz Research

86% of those who complain to brands on Twitter would “like or love” to hear from the brand regarding their complaint.  However, when consumers reach out for a specific reason, brands should be careful to respond to the actual complaint: “a striking 63 percent said they would hate or not like it if the company contacted them about something other than their complaint.”

Older Consumers More Likely To Expect Brands To Respond on Twitter via Maritz ResearchConsumer expectations for brands on Twitter also varied by age.  Older consumers were more likely to expect brands to respond via Twitter, especially those 55 and older. Younger consumers, while often more active on Twitter, were less hopeful that brands would respond to their complaints.  Women consumers over 35 were the happiest about receiving a response from brands; they liked hearing from the company 10% more than the average.

In simple terms, this is customer service on a newer and faster platform, where complaints and responses are public.  Brands can turn this to their advantage, and help build loyalty through the quality of their responses.

The airline industry offers great examples for how social media, including Twitter, can be a highly effective tool for customer service.  Royal Dutch Airlines KLM recently announced 24-hr social media customer service, and a recent ranking of US airlines in social media noted that Virgin America, JetBlue and SouthWest Airlines all saw a vast majority of positive comments on social media sites.

Maritz Research surveyed an online panel of 1,298 US consumers between September 9 and 12, 2011.  These consumers had pre-identified themselves as Twitter users who frequently tweet, had complained via Twitter about a company with whom they do business, and who were at least 18 years of age.

KLM Launches 24Hr Social Media Customer Service With Live Replies Via YouTube, Twitter

KLM Launches Social Media Customer Service Campaign

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?