Innovation That Matters

Airline's social networks connect frequent flyers

Travel & Tourism

All major airlines use frequent flyer programs to stimulate customer loyalty and generate additional revenues through third-party offerings. However, KLM is the first airline worldwide to create a customer-centric online community. The airline has launched passenger-driven communities that connect people doing business in China and Africa: KLM Club China and KLM Club Africa. A degree of exclusivity is guaranteed, since participation is by invitation only. The aim is to enable and streamline contacts that would otherwise be made while waiting to board an aircraft , or over breakfast in business class. Membership offers access to a network of likeminded entrepreneurs doing business in the same up-and-coming markets. The clubs also gives members access to business and information services provided by partners. For example, a dedicated phone line gives details for translation agencies, legal bodies, hotels, conference locations, route descriptions, etc. Club China and Club Africa also organize networking events in China, Africa and The Netherlands. Club China, which was the first to launch in June 2006, has signed up over 3,000 members so far, 40% of whom log on at least once a month. KLM will launch more clubs based on customer demand. Think Club India or Club Russia, or themes that aren’t related to specific destinations, but to sports or lifestyle. Flying Blue Golf Club is KLM’s first effort in that direction. If an airline can do it, what’s stopping your company from helping your most-valued customers unite? Keeping it useful, rewarding and relevant—like connecting entrepreneurs in challenging markets—seems key. Websites:


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