Forgotten users: designing employee experiences at KLM


Friday, 28 Sep. 15:10–15:30


Forgotten users: designing employee experiences at KLM

/ Peter Boersma

Peter Boersma


Over the last couple of years, the Dutch airline KLM has won many awards for the use of digital tools to help its customers have better travel experiences[1] and the company definitely profited from these investments in social customer care[2].

However, until recently, another type of users of its digital services, its own employees, have not had that much attention nor have they benefitted from investments in their digital well-being. But that is changing rapidly,

KLM’s internally-focussed Digital Studio, located at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, is part of the Digital Transformation program of KLM[3] and employs almost 60 people with a business, technical or design background. Based on my time working there, I will highlight a few of the recent projects, and introduce the people and processes involved that make working for the airline a better experience.

Example projects include a personalised intranet, an augmented reality maintenance tool[4], and design sprints for onboarding new employees and professional development solutions.

In this presentation, I will explain what I have found to be different working for employees versus customers, and will share what attendees might learn from this.

[1] A Google search on “klm customer service awards” yields, amongst others, the following awards: 2012 Customer Data Award, 2017 Webby Award for Customer Service, 2017 Messenger Service Spin-award, 2017 Airline Strategy Award, and 2018 Best Service Award.

[2] KLM’s 150 social media customer service agents generate $25M in annual revenue (

[3] KLM Digital Studio – The Digital Transformation (video) (

[4] MRO.AIR – Artificial Intelligent Reality (


Peter Boersma

Peter Boersma (1970) is an experienced designer and a design process freak. He has taught workshops and has spoken at many conferences about the topic of improving the designers’ way of working. At ServiceNow, he is a Design Director responsible for design in the in-house startups, a team that designs one of its mainstream products, as well as for Design Thinking in the Amsterdam office in general. He is a member of the leadership team of ServiceNow’s Experience Organization which makes sure the designers are organised in the best possible manner.