The policy of listening which involves all employees (see chapter xxx) and stakeholders implies the participation of the different stakeholders in the Group business through the development of effective communication channels and the maintenance of a constructive relationship over time.
Following the spinoff of the Travel Retail & Duty-Free business, the organization re-focused on the Food & Beverage sector; moreover, with the European reorganization of the business management, the way things are done is changing. Autogrill has paved a new course for the future based on listening to its collaborators and clients, including consumers and everyone affected by its operations.
In relation to consumers, Autogrill is convinced that listening to them and making them part of the organization is key to building success. In fact, through surveys, analyses and research, Autogrill periodically probes the market and consumers, giving them an important role as supporters, partners and promoters of change. The relationship lets them express their opinion and Autogrill can listen and respond by innovating, extending and re-inventing concepts, while also steadily improving its commercial offering. For this reason, dedicated divisions at the corporate and country level collaborate in collecting and analyzing information about consumers, landlords and competitors, as well as on the efficacy and consistency of marketing plans developed by the Group, defining the guidelines for the implementation of targeted marketing actions.
Autogrill relies on a large research platform that combines data derived from internal sources (data retrieved from accounting and non-accounting systems) and data collected from external sources, specifically from landlords and brand partners, and market surveys and analyses (tests on concepts, products and services, critical for understanding and anticipating consumer needs). These survey tools are also supported by direct opinions expressed by consumers through customer satisfaction surveys, toll-free numbers, email contacts and postage-paid cards that each country makes available using different criteria.
In the United States, trends in terms of emerging and consolidated styles, as well as purchasing trends, are constantly monitored through the Culinary Institute of America and other trend research institutes. In addition, surveys are carried out within HMSHost stores to understand travelers’ desires and opinions in relation to new concepts, products offered and other innovations. The outcomes from these surveys are then used to improve our response to travelers’ needs.
Moreover, as indicated above, HMSHost collects all comments and suggestions from consumers through a dedicated email address or on the phone through a toll-free number made available to consumers. All comments received are forwarded to store managers so that they can manage the situation directly. All comments are answered within 24-48 hours, the customer is contacted and a "Be Our Guest" card is given to him/her, including a coupon that can be used at any HMSHost store.
Also, in Europe and in particular in Italy, market research plays an important role in getting to know travelers and their different profiles according to, but not limited to, the various travel channels. The outcomes from the surveys and analyses carried out are key to the development of an offering that is in line with the needs and expectations of target consumers and for the evaluation of new ideas and services before they are implemented on a broader scale. Also in Europe, Autogrill listens and responds to consumers through different communication tools - toll-free numbers, email addresses and postagepaid cards - according to the different countries.
Traveler profile In recent years, the pace of change has quickened worldwide. And this process is expected to continue. The new geographic scenarios and recent developments in the global economy have had an impact on traffic and destination flows.
Only by getting to know these new travelers and the reasons why they travel will the Group be in a position to design appropriate offers. The typical travel channels – airports, highways, railway stations – are actually privileged observatories; they reveal who today’s travelers are and their experiences as consumers, as actors in the same complex and dynamic scenario as the Group.
In this context, Autogrill is in the best position to understand travelers’ needs, interpreting the speed and complexity of the changes that occur every day and translating them into innovative products and services. Airports in particular represent the place where Autogrill Group experiments and develops top notch solutions and services.
Product and concept design is always triggered by traveler expectations. The outcomes of the analyses carried out reveal a profile of a traveler who is aware of his/her role, wants to play a leading role, is demanding, makes informed purchases, looks for high quality and expects customized products.
Moreover, for the purpose of developing the offering, a Culinary Council was established at the European level, relying on the collaboration of known profiles in the catering industry, worldrenowned chefs and nutritionists who provide a scientific contribution to the development of balanced menus, and, last but not least, sociologists specialized in consumer behavior.
Autogrill also relies on its strategic partners (landlords and brand partners) to further extend its programs. For instance, in France a customer satisfaction survey is carried out in collaboration with the Marseille airport on yearly base.