By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com
18 March 2013 | KLM is known for its embrace of digital technology. The airline is a leader in social media and in the past years has launched a series of specific mobile apps, such as a ‘Passport’ app, which lets users record their journeys with their mobile phone and share their experiences via Facebook.
KLM’s latest mobile app allows the airline’s passengers to give real-time feedback on how they perceived their experience at the airport (e.g, check-in, lounge, boarding, arrival).
The option to provide direct feedback about the quality of service at airports isn’t entirely new. Singapore Changi, for example, has installed an instant feedback system that lets airport users rate service on the spot. The airport uses the real-time feedback to address issues immediately and to reward employees for good service. Travellers at Phoenix International Airport, meanwhile, can rate the cleanliness of the toilets by scanning a QR code.
KLM’s Feedback app, however, marks the first such initiative by an airline. According to the carrier, the objective of the Feedback app is to increase passenger involvement during the ground stage of their journey in order to improve the passenger experience at the airport.
How it works
After downloading the app, which is available for both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android, passengers first choose the airport they are currently at (13 airports are supported at the moment: Amsterdam, Accra, Almaty, Athens, Cape Town, Curacao, Geneva, Jakarta, Kuwait, Singapore, Tokyo, Toronto and Vancouver) and then choose the area (check-in, lounge, boarding, arrival) and sub-area they want to rate.
The rating consists of simply tapping a ‘Thumps Up’ or ‘Thumbs Down’ button, but passengers can also specify their rating with a comment. Interestingly, the app also allows for the feedback to be published on Twitter at the same moment. Pasengers can rate each sub-area once a day and can also view how other passengers rated this area within the last 24 hours.
KLM team leads and station management at participating airports have been equipped with iPads that enables them to monitor the feedback in real-time, so they can react on passenger feedback immediately if needed and possible.
Says Gerard-Pieter de Haas, Director CRM at KLM, “Our staff is very excited about the feedback app as it helps them to take immediately corrective action and recover the required service levels for each touch point. Moreover, we can capture this experience and relay to other touch points – like Check-in, Lounge, Transfer or even Inflight – so staff can take immediate action if needed. This fully fits our CRM-vision of ‘connecting the dots’ and really puts the customer in the center of our attention.”
Next: inflight feedback
KLM says that the current version of the Feedback app has been built only for the passenger experience on the ground. However, based on the pilot results, Inflight Services may be added as an area in the app as well, so passengers will also be able to share their onboard experience. After a pilot last year, the airline will also begin equipping its pursors with iPads next month. And, as KLM is about to start an inflight wi-fi trial, in the near future feedback from passengers on their KLM onboard experience may be real-time as well.