Founded in 1919, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is the oldest airline in the world still operating under its original name. In 2016, the KLM Group operated worldwide flights with over 200 aircraft, generating €10 billion in revenues and employing a staff of 32,000from its Amsterdam base.
Since 2009, KLM has gained a reputation as a pioneer in the field of social media services and campaigns. KLM has over 25 million fans and followers on various social media platforms. Through these channels, KLM receives over 130,000 mentions every week, 30,000 of which are questions or remarks. These are personally answered by more than 250 service agents, who form the world’s largest dedicated social media team.
KLM always want to be where their customers are. By opening new customer service channels such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp, KLM ran into a problem. The high adoption of these channels, due to their convenience, also translated into high traffic volumes. Furthermore, KLM realized that adding more service agents would not solve this challenge. Messaging channels bring a higher level of customer expectations, with passengers demanding faster answers.
The increasing number of repetitive questions via messaging channels presented an excellent business case for the deployment of Artificial Intelligence. KLM’s approach to AI is similar to an aircraft’s autopilot, in which technology takes care of the repetitive tasks that don’t require human intervention, while service agents can dedicate more time to solving complex cases.
KLM is using AI provided by DigitalGenius, which now supports over 50% of all inquiries. When agents need to answer customer questions, the AI provides them with a suggested answer. The AI system learns from the agents’ actions and becomes smarter over time. The latest data shows a 55% increase in accuracy between the months of January and June 2018.
DigitalGenius is currently deployed in 4 service channels – Facebook, Messenger, Twitter, WhatsApp – and in 4 languages – English, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese – with more channels and languages still to come.
KLM is also able to automate answers to the most common questions on any subject without the interference of a human service agent. With the help of DigitalGenius, KLM service agents have more time to focus on questions that require a human approach.