How to market Airlines for China : the case of KLM’s WeChat

KLM Airlines take off his account We Chat

Dutch airline KLM Royal is committed to its Chinese customers. KLM has chosen his best tool: creating a We Chat account as customer service for Chinese customers.
KLM uses CRM tools to improve customer service, via a WeChat account. KLM noticed the request process and feedback from Chinese customers are treated twice as fast. The company quickly realized the effectiveness of We Chat and recognizes it as a beneficial tool. With more than 630 million people connected, the presence of KLM is essential on the most active social network in China.

Indeed, the Chinese market is a key market for the Dutch company, with over 100 million trips each year worldwide. KLM stands as the gateway to Europe and would benefit from improving its services to Chinese customers. According to Martine Van DerLee, head of social technology “We Chat is the largest platform in China, offering us the opportunity to connect to customers and prospects. “

Air France site

If we look at the websites of other companies such as Emirates, Air France, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, which are international companies are ready to make We Chat customer service available 24h / 24. All these sites have a version in Mandarin, which is already a good point to attract Chinese customers. Several sites even customized their site to the Chinese public, such as Air France, showing Paris as the city of love.

Many Chinese appreciate the possibility to book their flight in Chinese, here you can see an example with British Airways which provides these customers a Mandarin Chinese page.

British Airways

While We Chat is a popular social network in China, some companies prefer to use other social media to stand out among their Chinese consumers.
You can see the Weibo page Singapore Airlines, the Chinese microblog often compared to Twitter:

Singapour airlines

Or here the video channel of Air New Zealand on Youku (Chinese Youtube):

New Zealand Youku

We all know that the Western social networks are blocked in China (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google +), so there is no need to make marketing campaigns aimed at Chinese consumers above. It is best to position the Chinese own social networks to better capture the attention of consumers and reach other potential customers.
Apart from KLM, Thai Airways is the only airline to promote WeChat on its website.

Thai Airways Wechat

Why WeChat is important?

Chinese consumers are followers of the digital age is the QR codes that prevail in China. QR codes are ubiquitous in China, they are often scanned for promotions, passwords, or here to follow a brand. The app WeChat drives many users to use QR codes in its functionality. For example, you can add friends through QR codes. Regarding the marks, the user can scan the QR code of a brand, and once connected, the user will see the content of their page adapted to the application format, the content may be in the form of news, promotions, discounts. This allows customer loyalty and interaction with customers.
KLM has 88,000 followers on his account WeChat, increasing between 0.5% and 1% each week! Through its efforts to satisfy its customers, its commitments to Chinese customers, good trade discounts, and innovative marketing campaigns, the brand has managed to fill its Chinese consumers.


The airline encourages customers to use the platform WeChat as much as possible for customer service.
(This screenshot from the KLM website Appears on the ICT customer service page and can be viewed in Both English and Chinese.)
When you have a question you ask directly in private conversation, interaction on WeChat between a brand and its customer is more personalized than other social networks. According to the KLM website, consumers can have a response within 1 hour.

Previously, the process of customer service via WeChat was done manually. Now, KLM has partnered with the communication platform Nexmo and so was able to assimilate customer service WeChat to its customer relationship management platforms. This new system has made the process more automatic and thus twice as fast for customers.
By integrating customer service WeChat into its other platforms, KLM customer service agents no longer have to open a separate window for questions on WeChat. All questions go through the same Salesforce Service KLM uses for its other digital channels.


Chatting applications are very popular in Asia, China is the dominant WeChat app which is why it is important to know to use the features of WeChat effectively to best communicate with Chinese consumers.

Read more about promoting Airlines in China

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