Customer satisfaction and innovation management
METRO is a leading international food wholesaler and global market leader in the cash-and-carry format. METRO’s strategy as a fully-fledged wholesale group is aimed at long-term, consistent growth of (like-for-like) sales and earnings. METRO focuses on identifying and addressing customers’ current and future challenges at an early stage in a constantly changing environment. It is thereby elevating the customer relationship from a transactional merchandise trade to a sustainable and holistic partnership.
Customer focus and customer satisfaction are central elements of our strategy. In order to continuously measure and consistently improve customer satisfaction at METRO Wholesale, we have implemented the Net Promoter Score across the board, in other words in all 24 METRO Wholesale countries in which METRO is represented with wholesale stores. Since its introduction, METRO has received about 2.2 million customer feedbacks. Besides the purely quantitative measurement of the current satisfaction values, suggestions from customers can be systematically recorded and evaluated. They can be used to identify further potential to improve the shopping and delivery experience, which is reflected in the design of our stores, product ranges and delivery services, etc.
Moreover, METRO aims to increase our operating efficiency in order to reduce our cost base. To this end, on the one hand, the group-wide synergy potential is to be exploited. On the other hand, cost advantages are to be realised through strategic cooperation projects with international retail and wholesale companies, for example by reducing procurement costs through international purchasing alliances.
We also value our customers and their opinions in the area of sustainability. Therefore, from February to June 2019, we conducted a customer survey in 23 countries in which METRO is active, which showed us the importance of sustainability for our customers across all customer groups. This enabled us to verify the findings of the materiality analysis conducted in 2018. Out of almost 50,000 interested customers, almost 7,500 responded and confirmed the importance of our activities to improve our impact on the environment and society. Today, our professional customers and their customers attach great importance to acting responsibly.
In order to exploit the opportunities derived from digitalisation and to realise synergies, we are bundling our digitalisation initiatives with the business units Hospitality Digital and METRO-NOM. To this end, METRO is expanding the range of professional services and digital solutions that support professional customers in the successful execution of their business activities and strengthen their competitiveness.
Hospitality Digital develops customer- and user-oriented solutions, for example for the calculation of menus, a free online reservation tool or other digital solutions specifically designed for the gastronomy sector. In addition, innovative start-up companies are supported through initiatives such as the various METRO accelerator programmes.
Since October 2018, restaurateurs have had access to relevant digital solutions such as the free online reservation tool via the new DISH online platform. The solutions were developed by Hospitality Digital as well as third-party providers. In addition, restaurateurs can find out about new gastronomic trends and events on DISH. Since April 2019, DISH has been available as an app, which includes a free personnel planning tool, making it easier for the restaurateur to manage his or her business on the move.
With our METRO-NOM business unit, we continue to digitalise our core business. METRO-NOM supports, develops and optimises all digital solutions used by our customers, such as the online shop of METRO Wholesale or the METRO Companion app, as well as by our colleagues. The internally used solutions cover the entire value chain.
Protection of personal data
The protection of personal data of customers, employees and business partners is extremely important to METRO. This is particularly true considering the fact that corporate processes are increasingly being digitalised, requiring data collection, processing and storage. However, this can only work efficiently if the data-processing subjects can trust that their data will be handled with care and that their personal rights will be respected.
For companies operating in Europe, the European Union has already established Europe-wide uniform regulations on the handling of personal data by passing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which has been in force since 25 May 2018, which leads to more transparency in the processing of personal data. Within the scope of 2 projects, all data protection processes of all respective METRO companies throughout the group were reviewed with regard to the new requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Company solutions were adapted to the requirements of the GDPR where necessary (among other things declarations of consent, data protection regulations, IT systems, privacy default settings).
METRO has also created a group-wide data protection organisation, consisting of local data protection officers and data privacy managers responsible for corporate data protection. It facilitates the pursuit of overarching and national data protection and digitalisation developments in order to continue to meet the statutory data protection requirements across the group.