4.1The cornerstone of DIA’s business
DIA targets total customer satisfaction. Ever since it opened its first store in Madrid in 1979, DIA has been adding to its store base and innovating with its sales channels, logistics processes and product ranges: today it boasts over 40 million customers in Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Brazil and China who can fill their shopping baskets with quality products at unbeatable prices, close to home. In 2015, DIA stepped up its efforts to get closer to and reinforce ties with its customers in all of its operating markets.
Club DIA customer surveys in Spain
In 2015, DIA Spain implemented a new system for gathering customer feedback about their shopping experiences–in its stores and online–with the ultimate aim of developing initiatives for improving customer service.
With this new system, Club DIA members who shop using their loyalty cards receive a brief questionnaire by e-mail aimed at evaluating the service provided by the store and checkout staff. Their responses are sent automatically to the company’s system for analysis and evaluation. At present some 1.5 million Club DIA members have registered e-mail addresses and can submit their feedback through this channel. Over 700,000 surveys have been sent since the system was introduced; the response rate stands at 5%.
In the online arena, meanwhile, DIA rolled out its Opinators satisfaction surveys during the year in an attempt to track the online shopping experience. Each time a customer signs up for the first time, he or she receives a questionnaire. Then, at the end of the year, a general survey is sent to all e-commerce users with questions related to customer service and the shopping experience in general. More than 28,000 surveys were sent out in 2015 and the participation rate was close to 2%.
In parallel, DIA runs a programme called ‘Customer Attitude’, which consists of a host of activities targeted at employees at all levels of the company with the aim of improving their attitude to customers and their determination to satisfy them. Among these activities, the focus groups conducted by sales managers and store supervisors and the ‘Customer Attitude Recipe Book’ (provided to store employees to complement the company’s customer service protocol) stand out.
In its quest to strengthen its relationship with its customers, DIA Spain continued to develop ‘Let’s turn the day on its head’ (punning the word DIA in Spanish), the gastronomy community hosted at www.demoslavueltaaldia.com, where food lovers share recipe tips, news and other information of interest. Over 980 in-person cooking classes were given free of charge in 2015. Other initiatives including tastings and gastronomic experiences which were attended by more than 16,000 people.
Under the ‘Let’s turn the day on its head’ slogan, the company organised a DIA Trade Fair on 27 June to showcase its private-label products. The event, which took place in Madrid’s Palacio de Neptuno, was attended by over 3,000 people who enjoyed a festive day out punctuated by product and recipe tasting, exclusive beauty treatments and featuring a play zone for children. Participants also got to watch the final of the second ‘Let’s turn the day on its head’ Championship live.
DIA débuts on Argentine television with its TV Experts programme
DIA Argentina pioneered the development of customer communities with its ‘Experts in Saving’ initiative, which is going from strength to strength year after year thanks to several events. What started out as a series of ad-hoc meetings between the company and its customers to facilitate the exchange of information about DIA’s business model and the shopping experience has been fleshed out in recent years with cooking classes, tastings and other events, emerging a phenomenon which moves masses.
This is evident in the fact that the third ‘Experts in Saving’ National Summit, which took place at the Gran Rex Theatre in Buenos Aires, was attended by 3,200 people. To participate in the event, the ‘experts’ had to first register on DIA’s fan-page and donate a book or toy in good repair to the children cared for by the Garrahan Foundation and the Dr. Ricardo Gutiérrez Hospital Cooperation Association. DIA topped up their contributions by donating $30,000 worth of products.
Under the umbrella of the ‘Experts in Saving’ initiative, the TV Experts programme made its début on Argentine television in August 2015. The first programme was watched by five times as many people as were watching at the same time the week before. The programme includes celebrity interviews, a heart-warming experiences section dubbed ‘Exemplary Experts’, the Experts in Saving School (showing how to shop at DIA without overpaying) and product novelties.
Before the première, the company organised an Experts in Saving Meeting in the form of a sneak preview event which gave over 200 customers and Club DIA members the chance to watch the show”s first episode.
The firm’s TV Experts programme, spawned by the success of the ‘Experts in Saving’ customer community, aired on Argentine television for the first time in August 2015
Elsewhere, some of these real-life experts starred once again in DIA Argentina’s humorous advertising campaign which, under the name of ‘Experts in Saving School’, recreates a funny class given by customer-teachers to customer-students on where to find the best quality and prices.
Spreading the word about DIA’s unbeatable prices in Brazil
In Brazil, the organisation made a significant effort to market the firm’s competitiveness and price messages with a range of initiatives focused primarily on making shoppers more familiar with the virtues of its private-label products and making its messages go viral by leveraging the social media. Some of the most noteworthy campaigns included ‘Christmas at DIA’, ‘DIA Anniversary’ and the ‘Truth about DIA’.
The Christmas promotion consisted of a draw for 1,000 shops valued at BRL200 and five cars for shoppers spending at least BRL40 and registering their promotion coupon on the dedicated website. Over 72,000 customers participated in the draw.
To mark DIA’s fourteenth anniversary in this market, the company rolled out a series of promotions and discounts across all of its stores and gave loyal customers whose birthdays coincided with the month in which DIA began operations in Brazil one free shop.
Lastly, the company rolled out an online campaign dubbed ‘The Truth about DIA’ consisting of private-label product tastings offered to passers-by in the city of Sao Paolo. The idea was to showcase and explain the brand’s virtues by means of blind tests and to reinforce how DIA products are perceived in terms of quality.
Over 850,000 people share a DIA game in China
DIA has been overhauling its customer communication efforts to leverage the new media. In China, where the company has focused its sales strategy on development of the online business, DIA made noteworthy use of the WeChat platform to carry out several marketing campaigns.
Coinciding with DIA’s twelfth anniversary in China, the company shared an interactive game targeted at its younger shoppers. The game was shared by over 850,000 people, helping to double the number of WeChat followers in just two months.
Social network chatter
DIA fostered social media conversation by leveraging the various chains’ profiles in each country in order to better understand its customers’ opinions and needs, answering their questions in real time, providing product information and organising competitions designed to boost customer loyalty.
At year-end, DIA had over 482,000 Facebook fans in Spain and one million in Argentina. On Twitter, DIA had more than 29,000 followers in Spain, 1,600 in Argentina and 24,000 in Brazil.
The Clarel stores have their own social network profiles, which are used to organise competitions, provide beauty tips and gather customer feedback.
Customer-centred services and publications
Development of these customer communities and social networks marks a fresh milestone in DIA’s communication strategy, in which customer care services and publications play an important role.
The DIA Group used various channels to reinforce how it listens to and empathises with its customers. Against this backdrop, it recorded and analysed the queries, complaints and suggestions voiced by customers through its customer care services. Customer contacts via these channels numbered 110,775 in 2015 and addressed a broad range of issues, including store, product and Club DIA enquiries, etc.
The company has had a number of customer publications for several years now, the most noteworthy being the Club DIA magazine in Spain. With a print run of 700,000, the pages of this magazine contain nutrition and health related content, product news, ideas for family activities, recipes and practical household tips.
In addition to this flagship magazine in Spain, the group’s print publications include Member Lifestyle in China, Experts in Argentina and the DIA Magazine in Brazil.