Our three musketeers: the 2023 sales millionaires reveal their secrets

Every year, KLM puts its sales millionaires in the spotlight during their annual sales meeting. This year, it was held on 6 February in Den Bosch. Sales millionaires are the customer service heroes who sell more than one million euros worth of tickets and services during a year. Cygnific is proud of its three heroes of 2023: Barry Zandstra, Steven Maatkamp and Dave ten Hoeven. As these men deserve a podium, let’s get to know a bit more about them and how they accomplished this. 

Steven: “I always go the extra mile and never let a sales opportunity pass by. I am active listener and quickly discover what a customer needs. By offering high quality service, high sales are an automatic result.” 

Barry: “The most important rule is: if you can sell a ticket, sell a ticket. Don’t always send the passenger back to the website. Because who says they will go to the KLM website again and not to another provider? Any scenario where you sell a ticket is preferable to one where you don’t.” 

Our record holder and his unique approach to customer service 

To unravel the mystery of our sales record holder, we spoke with Dave ten Hoeven. He sold 2.3 million euros worth of tickets and services for KLM in 2023. How did he do that? And does he want to reveal his secrets? Let’s find out! 

A blue heart 

Dave has a big blue heart for both KLM and Cygnific and is a real brand ambassador. He works for the Platinum Service Line, a special service for KLM’s most loyal passengers. Dave says the following: “Most passengers know exactly what they are calling for and that makes it easier for me. I really like telephone contact and the spoken word. Platinum passengers are very businesslike, but you can also make it very personal, and I think that is how you win your customers. For example, you can share a tip about a place they are going to for the first time. By making it personal, you can also create a better product for the passenger. My advantage is that I can combine Flying Blue Miles tickets and paid tickets very well and quickly. In some cases, I can offer more favourable ticket prices if a passenger has saved enough Miles.” 

Sales are not the goal, but a nice result 

Dave’s performance seems to be all about sales, but that’s not all that matters. For Dave, sales are a great result of customer contact that is truly personal. He benefits greatly from his knowledge of KLM procedures and the reservation system, but also from his knowledge of people. This ensures that during a conversation with a passenger, he can quickly respond to KLM’s offer, but also use his antennae to quickly discover what the passenger’s needs are and whether they might be able to move along with KLM’s offer. For example, if ticket prices are more favourable on the passenger’s surrounding travel days than their actual preferred travel days. 

 “Sales are certainly a bonus, but it’s really not just that. It is the combination of the product, a happy passenger, but especially with the Platinum Service Line, the chance that you will speak to the same passenger again is quite high. This also gives me the opportunity to build a personal connection with some of them.” 

Our role in the entire customer experience 

We can now conclude that Dave’s secret lies in offering a unique and personal customer experience where he benefits greatly from his knowledge. He is also very aware of the role that Cygnific plays in the overall customer experience at KLM: “I think we are doing so very well as a service centre. We ensure that we are part of the entire customer experience, which is already very good at KLM. The warm feeling that we can give via customer service at Cygnific, at the airport and on board is precisely what allows us to make our product so beautiful. That’s what I like about my job.

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