KLM CXO: Our Customer Intimacy Strategy Differentiates Us by Delivering a Great Customer Experience at Every Touch Point

Interview with Ryanne van der Eijk, CXO – Chief Customer Experience at Dutch airline KLM.

ryanne van der eijk klm cxo

Ryanne van der Eijk is the Chief Customer Experience at Dutch airline KLM, where she is responsible for the Customer Experience in the executive team of KLM, reporting to the CEO, and changing an operational company into a customer driven organisation.

In this interview with CX Network, she talks about their customer intimacy strategy, empowering employees and the increasing importance of customer contact over social media.

Hi Ryanne, thanks for joining me at CX Network today. First of all, can you tell our readers what your role as CXO – Chief Customer Experience entails and what the key points are within KLM’s wider customer experience strategy?

Aa a CXO in the executive team of KLM I am responsible for the customer experience of the whole KLM journey. We are in the process of defining our main customer segments, map their needs on the KLM journey and determine the gaps we need to focus on, in order to increase our customer satisfaction and our NPS.

As a strategy we have chosen the customer intimacy strategy, differentiating ourselves from others by delivering a great customer experience on every touch point of our journey. We do this by focussing on interaction between staff and customers, but also by focusing on our digital strategy, supplying our staff with the right customer data and tools in order to disclose the data at every moment of the journey.

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What has been your greatest customer experience success during your time at KLM so far?

We have just shared our Purpose and Strategy with our employees in four extended sessions. It was great to see the whole Board on stage, sharing their own subjects (ops, finance, HR) all with the same objective: how do we become a more customer-centric organisation and what is needed to get there. All embracing our recently agreed purpose: moving your world by creating memorable experiences.

Customer-centricity is an important part of your CX strategy, what steps are you taking to ensure this touches all levels within the business?

We have defined our purpose, and we now start an implementation plan to secure the roll-out of this purpose in all our designs, processes, procedures, policies and behaviour. So it will be included in hiring new staff, training competences, etc.

We have a lot of initiatives to support our customer intimacy strategy: solve it when it happens, a programme to fix the problem when it occurs by empowered staff. An example is a pilot we are doing at the airport in case of disruptions; we serve the affected passengers drinks and food from the trolley with a personal talk instead of handing out vouchers.

I am also in the middle of introducing a new organisation that is more in line with the customer-centric approach; so managing the journey across all touch points instead of managing the experience at one touch point. We will introduce a new function responsible for segments over the journey covering all

In what innovative ways are you optimising customer interactions across all touch-points to ensure consistency?

We are focussing on digitising front line staff, introducing social media 24 hours a day, introducing new innovative products, like apps, solve it when it happens with empowered staff and much more.

How is the digital disruption and the increasing importance of social media channels driving change in the way you develop customer experience at KLM?

We are using social media to optimise our journey. We are focusing on big data, gathering a 360 degree profile of our customers, disclosing this information at the right time with the right staff to meet our customer demands and to delight their journey.

On top of that we use social media to answer within 1 hour to customers requests. Social media agents are also pushing the complaints or requests of customers to front line staff so front line staff is aware of their latest status and use this when possible.

What do you believe will be the biggest trends impacting upon CX in 2016? How are you preparing for these at KLM?

Customers have more and more info available. At the same time info can never win from a personal interaction and the way we make your feel. So we have to keep track with data and tools, but even more focus on the right interaction, which is supported by correct data.

What ultimate piece of advice can you give your peers to help them enhance their strategy and deliver an exceptional customer experience?

Define your purpose, and based on that design you desired customer experience and all what is needed to deliver this experience.