Lis­ten to your cus­tomers, they wiLL teLL you what the data can’t

Onboard Hospitality - - In Conversation With... -

Last year Bri­tish Air­ways hit the head­lines with its M&S buy-on­board pro­gramme. Hamish McVey, head of brands and mar­ket­ing, looks back a year on

Cus­tomer feed­back has al­ways been of the up­most im­por­tance to Bri­tish Air­ways and a key, re­oc­cur­ring con­cern was the food of­fer­ing on our short-haul flights.

To ad­dress this we de­cided to part­ner with Marks & Spencer - an­other great Bri­tish brand renowned for its qual­ity

- to de­liver the best food on the go we could and en­sure our cus­tomers now get far more choice. With a wide range of op­tions in­clud­ing veg­e­tar­ian, gluten­free and healthy al­ter­na­tives avail­able, pas­sen­gers can choose ex­actly what they want, as­sured that ev­ery­thing is fresh, re­spon­si­bly sourced and se­lected for great flavour at high al­ti­tudes. As all choices are un­der £5, pas­sen­gers are still get­ting good value for money.

Em­brac­ing change

Ini­tially we did ex­pe­ri­ence some ner­vous­ness about the change from cer­tain quar­ters, how­ever our ex­ten­sive anal­y­sis ex­plor­ing cus­tomer trends and be­hav­iours sug­gested the change was some­thing pas­sen­gers would ul­ti­mately em­brace. The data show­ing the true re­sponse could of course only be gath­ered once M&S On Board was fly­ing. Once we were able to as­sess buy­ing be­hav­iours right across our net­work, we could en­sure the of­fer worked for all cus­tomers and we ad­justed what was loaded on each in­di­vid­ual flight to en­sure de­mand was closely met.

De­liv­er­ing qual­ity

We change the menu three-times a year to re­flect M&S’s sea­sonal cal­en­dar and in­tro­duce new prod­ucts fre­quently. It’s quick and easy for pas­sen­gers to pay and reg­u­lar fliers can use their Avios points.

We chose Tour­vest as our re­tail tech­nol­ogy part­ner as it al­ready de­liv­ers our in­flight lo­gis­tics. We needed a com­pany that was fa­mil­iar with the scale and com­plex­ity of our op­er­a­tion and was ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing the ser­vice.

En­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits

We’re now able to care­fully mon­i­tor us­age and en­sure we sup­ply the right vol­umes to each flight. Mon­i­tor­ing the data also pre­vents the ex­ces­sive food and pack­ag­ing waste we ex­pe­ri­enced with the com­pli­men­tary meals.

We con­tinue to mon­i­tor ev­ery flight to en­sure we’re sup­ply­ing prod­ucts that suit the time of day, cus­tomer pro­file and feed­back we re­ceive.

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