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