We are continually engaged in dialogue with our customers in order to understand their needs and expectations. With this knowledge, we can develop a unique customer experience and offer high quality and sustainable products and services.
Our Customer and Market Insight department conducts research on customer understanding, customer satisfaction, and on service conformity. It also uses benchmarking and specific customer research and data analysis, with a constant respect for the privacy of customer data.
The customer is at the center of product and service development. For example, in 2019 :
- Air France carried out several customer tests on longhaul network for its business, premium economy and economy cabins. Customer feedback was integrated into the development process.
- The members of Intouch online community have participated in co-creation programs. For example, they contributed to the design of the new survival kit distributed by KLM in case of an emergency.
- In order to reinforce customer proximity, the Traveler Lab’ community enabled, for example, the testing and further development of the “Louis” chatbot, a virtual baggage assistant, as well as the customer questioning about a downtown luggage check-in service, or about à la carte menus.
- Air France also relies on its Customer Club, made up of 132 voluntary clients, to improve and design the Air France products and services of tomorrow through workshops, taskforces and surveys. The flight and ground employees are associated with this co-construction program. In 2019, more than twenty workshops were organized around major subjects : cabin of the future, sustainable development, management of irregularities, trade fairs, correspondence, etc.
We carry out qualitative and quantitative surveys, inflight trials and focus groups to ensure that our current and prospective customer feedback is systematically taken into account during the development of new products and services :
- More than 40 tailored studies are carried out per year among our existing and potential customers in order to better understand their needs. For example, customers have been questioned during workshops (in France and abroad) as well as through questionnaires, to allow Air France to assess customers’ daily press habits when traveling with Air France, and understand the impact of a reduction or even disappearance of the paper supply.
- Customer complaints are taken into account and reported monthly in order to better understand key product and service challenges and define possibilities for improvement.
- The Net Promoter Score (NPS) indicator is the customer reference indicator at Air France-KLM. The NPS is now used as a company-wide target, and overviews and monitoring tools have been developed to report the daily NPS score. Between 2018 and 2019, Air France’s NPS increased by 15 points. In 2019, Air France tests a tool to analyze the written comments of our clients, collected via satisfaction surveys, their use of our websites and their exchanges with our client relationship centers. With this tool, we can better observe and respond to our clients’ requests and offer them more personalized services.
Market research and industry-wide studies (such as brand awareness’ measure Airs@t done by IATA) broaden the analysis of the competitive environment. Part of this information is shared within Air France-KLM via a specially set up intranet. In key strategic markets a bi-yearly brand health tracker measures the perception of customers on how airlines take care of environmental issues.
Several tools are also made available to employees: the Competitor Box, a marketing watch platform, gathers competitors’ media news, updated daily, sending a weekly newsletter containing the highlights of the week as well as a quarterly newsletter informing them of major trends in various areas related to air transport (catering, consumption patterns, technologies, sustainable development, travel, etc.).
Monitoring quality and customer satisfaction
With the“Quality Observer” program, Flying Blue members are invited to perform objective quality audits by using an exclusive app. More than 74,000 frequent customers have participated in this program. Its goal is to safeguard a consistent product and service delivery around the world, based on quality assessments performed by its members annually. The results are included in a reporting tool that is available to different internal stakeholders.
The eSCORE online program measures passenger satisfaction on all Air France and KLM flights, with specific and tailored questions. The information gathered contains passenger profiles and choices, segmentation questions, as well as satisfaction scores covering the entire customer experience. Nearly 1 million responses a year are received and analyzed to constantly improve and customize products and services.A new version of this tool has been rolled-out in January 2020 with the goal to improve Customer experience.
Customer satisfaction is also measured through special monitors at different touchpoints before and after the flight, as well as via call centers, websites, social media, etc.
STRIVING FOR EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER SERVICE
We have chosen the distinctive strategic approach of putting customers at the heart of our considerations: striving to make it to the top in operational performance and products and achieve distinction with the quality of our Customer Relations. Synergizing the digital and human elements enables Air France-KLM to offer a quality caring relationship.
Social media is one of the first points of contact between Air France, KLM and their customers, more than 33 million customers are followers on one of our social media channels. We use them to communicate on news, to promote products and services but also to assist and inform customers throughout their journey.
At Air France, the “caring attitude” is the governing principle of our service personalization actions, both through digitalization (website, apps, and social networks) and through staff actions.
Some examples in 2019 :
- A “complete customer account record” allows front-line and customer-related personnel to see the customer profile and their travel experience.
- 25,000 front-line staff, both ground and flight crew, have tablets on which they use the “Customer Continuity” system. When a customer reports a particular circumstance or an incident, this information can be shared between employees, who are then able to act by developing a very personalized approach or by suggesting an action which will make a difference : another seat onboard, a sign of appreciation, a surprise for a customer’s honeymoon, birthday or a home return flight, etc. Very much appreciated by our customers and staff, this system has been extended to all customers, loyal or not.
- An “inflight customer feedback” is in place on all flights, and will be extended to medium-haul flights. It is about collecting customers’ opinions “in the heat of the moment”, after landing, which should enable the crew to implement relevant actions that will improve customer satisfaction on their return flight. Asking immediate feedback from customers has since become widespread everywhere in the company.
- To meet the expectations of our international customers, the Phoenix program takes into account the particularities and expectations of these customers to adapt our product and services. At Charles de Gaulle’s airport : self-service kiosks offer more than 12 languages to register or buy paid options. Our multicultural team welcomes nearly 16,000 customers per day in their language and cultural codes. Dedicated cultural events, such as the Chinese New Year or the Rio Carnival are organized for our international customers. Before the flight : Air France Play allows our customers to download a selection of international press and music. On board : many films and world music are available and specific dishes are offered on many lines. On all Japan flights, an entirely Japanese menu is offered in the Business cabin. More than 1,500 hostesses and stewards have been trained in international standards and the specific expectations of customers in their language and in accordance with their cultural codes.
- For the fourth year in a row, Air France was awarded the “Podium de la Relation Client” prize. Selected on the basis of a BearingPoint and Kantar TNS survey among a sample of 4,000 French people, the award reflects the recognition of our clients and the steady efforts of Air France focused on the criteria related to the personalization of the customer experience. Air France made progress on the 3 criteria evaluated : bond, performance and emotion, widening the gap on the dimension of emotion, rewarding the constant efforts made to personalize the relationship with the client.
Among KLM’s initiatives to create “memorable experiences” for their customers is the collaboration with Return to Sender on “Gifts for Care” project. Return to Sender is a company that brings unique handcrafted products from all around the world to the Netherlands. Made with a love for tradition and craft, these authentic products are created by artisans in the poorest regions of the world. These unique gifts provide the crew with another tool to approach passengers on board in a way that fits the KLM mission: Moving your world by creating memorable experiences.
INVOLVING CUSTOMERS IN OUR SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES
In order to better flag initiatives related to sustainability, the Group embedded sustainability actions of all its commercial brands under the label Takes Care.
The KLM Takes Care online platform (klmtakescare.com) is dedicated to providing information on all relevant topics, engaging in dialogue, and providing a forum for discussion on sustainability. The KLM Takes Care platform and logo make it easy to identify sustainability initiatives both online and offline.
Air France-KLM kept its place on the 2019 Fortune’s list of the World’s Most Admired Companies, ranking fourth in the “Airlines” category. The economic assessors particularly noted the Group’s excellent performance in terms of innovation, quality of its products and services, and its social and environmental responsibility.
With an open letter published on 29 June 2019, KLM has reached out to stakeholders in aviation and (corporate) customers to join forces in the development of sustainable solutions for the industry. Under the name ‘Fly Responsibly’, KLM invited airlines, partners, customers and employees alike, to share in KLM’s existing sustainability practices and tools, and provide KLM with their respective insights in return.
The materiality analysis whose goal was to evaluate Air France-KLM CSR strategy, was reissued in 2019. It enabled customers of our companies to evaluate 27 topics, prioritize and rate their importance, but also to evaluate the performance of Air France-KLM.
50,000 corporate and individual customers were invited to participate in this survey. According to them, the top 5 topics were : Customer satisfaction, Fleet development, Safety and security, CO2 emissions, Innovation (see also chapter “Stakeholder Engagement and Materiality”).