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Spotlight on total customer satisfaction
DIA has over 45 million customers worldwide. Total customer satisfaction is the group’s number one goal. To this end the company offers multiple store formats for different shopping occasions and fosters close and long-lasting relationships with its customers so it can identify their needs and tailor its establishments, products and pricing to meet their expectations.
3.3.1. Meeting their needs
DIA offers its customers the chance to fill their baskets with quality products at competitive prices without going far from home at its DIA MARKET and DIA Fresh stores. The company also operates another retail format designed for less frequent and larger-volume shops: the DIA Maxi stores. These supermarkets are located in suburban areas and include parking facilities in order to facilitate access by car.
DIA established a foothold in the world of e-commerce via four platforms: the online store, mobile app, flash sales and PuntoDIA package pick-up points
The DIA Group added the Clarel chain of household and personal care products to its store network in 2013. Clarel was born in November in the wake of the acquisition of Schlecker’s 1,129 stores in Spain and Portugal. DIA has already begun to expand this sales network in Spain and Portugal, opening 60 new Clarel stores in 2013.
DIA is evolving to adapt to its customers’ emerging shopping habits: spending control, quick shops and concern for the environment. With this goal in mind it is working to enhance the shopping experience it provides year after year, focusing decisively and strategically on perishables in all its establishments, while increasing its private-label range in parallel.
The supermarket chain rounded out its strategy of getting close to its customers and meeting their every need with the incipient development of an e-commerce strategy in Spain articulated around four platforms: the online store, mobile app, flash sales (special offers for a limited time only on www.oportunidades.dia.es) and delivery pick-up points, PuntoDIA.
3.3.2 Focusing on their health
Sensitive to the demands of consumers with special needs, in 2013 DIA expanded several of its product ranges in this respect, particularly its selection of diet products, nutritional supplements and organic products.
Notably, as well as adding more health food, organic and gluten-free products, DIA worked to improve their packaging and supermarket aisle labelling. In Spain, where more than 400 DIA stores have special gluten-free product sections, 130 DIA products are labelled as gluten-free and are included in the list of foods deemed suitable for celiacs compiled by FACE (Spain’s Confederation of Celiac Associations). In Portugal, Minipreço customers can check out this list on the chain’s corporate website. In Brazil and Argentina, the private-label food ranges disclose whether or not the products contain gluten, in keeping with prevailing local legislation. In France, organic products were given more shelf space in the DIA Maxi stores.
As part of its commitment to fostering healthy lifestyle habits on the part of its customers regardless of their purchasing power, DIA France embarked on a project called OPTICOURSE. This goal of this initiative, which is being carried out in collaboration with public research bodies (INRA and NORT), is show consumers how to follow a balanced diet on a very tight budget.
The team began to plan this project at the end of 2013 and expects to implement it in two stores in poor districts in northern Marseille - DIA La Viste and DIA St. Antoine – in 2014. Every two months a team of nutritionists from Université d’Aix Marseilles will present a selection of 60 inexpensive nutritional products which will be highlighted in these stores’ supermarket aisles with the TOP Manger logo.
The campaign will also feature a star product and plan activities around this food, including recipes and tips for using it to feed the whole family. The campaign will be rounded out with brochures, promotional posters and advertising totems.
3.3.3 Quality and safety pledges
DIA guarantees the quality and safety of its products, whether name brands or private label, by means of an advanced quality management program which affects every link in the supply chain, from upfront product negotiation and development until these products reach the supermarket shelves.
The company carries out exhaustive audits at its warehouses and in its stores in order to oversee and assess aspects such as hygiene and tidiness, preservation of the cold chain and sufficient restocking of perishables.
Year after year, DIA works to increase the safety and quality guarantees afforded by all its products. Having standardised supervision of supply chain procedures in terms of the food safety-sanitation dimension in 2012, last year it proceeded to standardise and systematise its audit system which is now applied on a standard basis across all of the DIA Group’s operating markets.
3.3.4 Close and long-lasting relationship
DIA builds close and long-lasting relationships with its customers on the basis of mutual trust and regular, open, two-way communication.
In order to maintain and nurture this link, the company listens to what shoppers want on its customer service line, continually opens new in-person and online communication channels and, uniquely, rewards its customers’ loyalty in the form of the tangible benefits offered to Club DIA store cardholders. In 2013, DIA also rolled out a pilot test at 30 Spanish stores aimed at reinforcing the teams’ customer service attitude; the initiative included retreats for the entire sales chain, from sales managers to cashiers at the affected stores.
With the dual objective of providing solutions and improving its offering and service, the company listens to, records and analyses the complaints, suggestions and praise voiced by customers through its customer service channels. In all, DIA received 92,912 customer enquiries in 2013 through its various channels regarding the issues of greatest interest to them: stores, products, Club DIA, etc. In addition, the group handled 100,168 phone calls from customer and non-customers.
As part of its customer relationship management effort, DIA publishes the Club DIA magazine. Containing articles of interest and with a print run of 700,000 copies, the magazine is distributed to a select group of DIA’s top customers. The magazine includes useful nutrition and health guidance, suggestions for family activities, recipes, information on new DIA products, interesting facts, advice and practical tips.
Aware of the importance of fostering dialogue, DIA maintains a dynamic presence on the main social networks and encourages its customers to participate in a blog called “A Day in my neighbourhood” (with a pun on DIA, which means day, in the original Spanish title). Last year DIA also organised its first national cooking competition for the best semi-professional chef.
At year-end, DIA had 143,000 Facebook fans in Spain, 753,200 in Brazil and 320,220 in Argentina and was continuing to add Twitter followers, having notched up 4,649 followers in Spain, 892 in Argentina and 23,400 in Brazil.
Moving away from the online arena, the company organises events in its various operating markets (Argentina, France and Spain) such as its “Experts in saving money” sessions, with which it engages interested customers with its business model, showing them how the organisation manages to trim costs in order to bring them top quality at unbeatable prices. In 2013 DIA held 32 such sessions in which 5,000 customers participated.
The Spanish team organised 19 sessions between 23 May and 12 December with a total of 538 attendees. These groups average 30 people in size.
France hosted five “Experts in saving money” sessions in Paris, Marseille, Saint-Marcel and Bruay la Buissière (northern France).
Argentina held eight sessions, two of which for large crowds and the other six for smaller groups. In 2013 the group celebrated the first National Summit of Experts in Saving in Argentina in conjunction with the launch of its Experts magazine. Two thousand five hundred customers participated in the event. The new magazine, meanwhile, was inspired by feedback received from customers at the company’s regularly scheduled expert sessions; the contents include interviews with celebrities, a section showcasing ‘exemplary experts’ and discount coupons.
Argentina’s ‘experts’ also had the chance to participate in the first Private-Label Brand Trade Fair, which took place on 5 November, gathering 1,500 customers who visited the company’s stands to get know more about all of the DIA-branded product families. The attending experts saw the company’s product quality controls and tests first-hand and learned how to prepare delicious chef-recipes with DIA products.
Club DIA loyalty card turns 15
The Club DIA card is the tool that provides the company with the most important insight into its customers’ tastes and preferences. This valuable loyalty system, a frontrunner in Spain, turned 15 in 2013.
The Club DIA loyalty card offers its holders significant exclusive benefits, such as access to over 250 products at special prices, promotions that are renewed fortnightly, discount coupons and payment deferral options.
Since it was rolled out in 1998, the company has issued 31 million cards; moreover, 70% of the group’s total sales were paid for using its loyalty card in 2013, amply evidencing the runaway success of this tool.