Why Did a Global Airline Just Set Up a 'Real-Time Newsroom' in a Glass Pavilion?

KLM's Latest Customer-Service Stunt Aims to Help Travelers Worldwide

Published On
Oct 13, 2014

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KLM is showing off its attention to customer service again -- this time by setting up a dedicated social-media team that will attempt to respond to every single Twitter query about travel -- even non-KLM-related travel -- over the next five days.

The stunt, orchestrated by DDB & Tribal Worldwide, Amsterdam, began this morning in a custom-designed glass pavilion -- what KLM is calling a "real-time newsroom" -- based at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, serving as the central "control hub" for the campaign. It houses rotating 30-people teams of specialists from both the airline and the agency, working round-the-clock in shifts (250 people total, counting the various shifts). The teams will constantly scan Twitter in search of messages indicating that someone is in trouble during their travels anywhere in the world. Specialists will aim to respond with personalized "creative and relevant" answers hashtagged #HappytoHelp.

Unlike the dog "employee" that the airline featured in a video about customer service last month, this is real and actually happening, if only for a workweek. Travelers physically at Schiphol -- even those flying with other airlines -- can visit the pavilion with queries, and KLM staff will also be stationed at other selected airports worldwide on the lookout for customers with travel problems to feed back to the team in Amsterdam.