Listening and exchanging ideas as sources for continual improvement

Customer relationships are managed principally through two channels:

  • the local sales organization, which has direct contact with the customer network and which, thanks to advanced information management systems, is able to process and respond to all information requirements of the interlocutor on site;
  • the Pirelli Tyre Contact Centers, numbering 31 worldwide and are staffed by more than 200 employees developing activities of both IT support and order management (inbound), telemarketing and teleselling (outbound) with a score of 97% in 2013.

These two traditional contact channels are complemented by the presence of Pirelli in the new media. During 2013 Pirelli consolidated its presence on the social networks, first and foremost Facebook and Twitter. The Global Page of Facebook that is dedicated to the brand has over 465,000 fans, while the Motorsport page has about 375,000 fans (February 2014 figures). There are also two Twitter accounts, Pirelli Media (63,000 followers) and Pirelli Motorsport (30,000 followers). Then, the Company has a presence on Instagram (@pirelli_f1), Youtube and Google Plus. With the principal aims of disseminating Company knowhow, bolstering the credibility of Pirelli and supporting its premium product and price position, the growing involvement of users through social channels also allows it to collect insight for the product and service and constantly monitor Pirelli brand sentiment online.

In the Motorcycle Business Unit, the German Metzeler brand is particularly active through a local web page in nine countries (Italy, Germany, Spain, Brazil, United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland, Austria and France) and its international site, all under the auspices of Metzeler.com. A new Facebook page dedicated to motorcyclists was created in 2012, with 175,000 likes at year end and content posted in 14 different countries in the various local languages. Other initiatives include the implementation of “Metzeler maps”, active participation in the Ridexperience blog and activation of a new ‘answers’ function. In addition, an e-commerce function was integrated in the Italian language version of the Metzeler.com site. The multilingual blog RIDEXPERIENCE, on which contributors offer details of extreme travel, technical advice and news features from the biker world, has continued to be extremely popular, as is the fan page dedicated to the Italy, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, France and United States markets and the YouTube channel dedicated to Metzeler.

The principal marketing research studies that Pirelli has been performing for years to monitor it customer satisfaction and perceived positioning of the Pirelli brand have assumed strategic importance, with a growing level of innovation in the methods and contents of their analyses. Pirelli conducted a trade customer satisfaction survey (in the car sector) again in 2013. As in prior years, the aim of the Dealer Satisfaction Survey was to identify the level of satisfaction of the customer base during the various stages of companycustomer interaction in order to map the effectiveness of the action plans implemented throughout the previous years. The 2013 survey involved 14 countries worldwide (with the addition of Russia, Sweden, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, United Kingdom, Poland, Belgium, Switzerland, Brazil, China, United States and Turkey), for a total of about 2,400 interviews. The interviews conducted at the individual retail outlet in “anonymous” form (i.e. in the name of the research institute and not Pirelli), more in-depth interviews were added this year in the name of Pirelli on the principal key customers in the various countries involved. This has made it possible to obtain punctual and absolutely transparent feedback, which is useful for defining targeted action plans for our principal partners. The position of Pirelli in comparison with its competitors was positive overall. In general, Pirelli scored in the top three in terms of satisfaction, and the percentage of customers who are completely or very satisfied is very high in various countries (>75% in Germany, Spain, Switzerland, and between 60% and 75% in the other countries on a scale of 0-100 [Completely satisfied = 100; Very satisfied = 75; Somewhat satisfied = 50; Not very satisfied = 25; Not at all satisfied = 0]).

In Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey, Pirelli has a score >75 and only in four cases was it lower than 70. In particular, in Italy Pirelli had a score of 72, up 3 percentage points from 2012 and consistent with the score of best performers. In terms of satisfaction in different areas of company-customer interaction, Pirelli performed particularly well in the “premium product range” and “logistics” (in most cases, above the market average). The importance of the “product quality” and “marketing” areas was confirmed. Pirelli is particularly strong in marketing, and not only in most European countries, but also in Russia and Brazil, through its multibrand customer dealer networks.

The innovation in 2013 in the dealer area is represented by the realisation of a customer communication project, by using a web-based search platform that is currently focused on principal European countries, with the possibility of extending it to new non-European markets in 2015. This is comprised by a “voice of the customers” project, which is absolutely innovative for the tyre industry, and has the aim of transforming our customers into a selected panel of partners who are able to assist us both in comprehending market dynamics and developing new market and business opportunity advantages.

Through constant research, contact and collection of feedback in an open, transparent and innovative way, studies are conducted on different marketing issues through surveys, quick polls and online forums.

The principal results are then shared with the panel members through publication on the dedicated portal and transmission of monthly eDirect Mails with updates on the principal activities under way. This activates a listening and discussing process as the source for continuous improvement.

At the consumer level, the significant end customer listening activity continued through evolution and reinforcement of the brand tracking survey in the top ten markets of Pirelli (Italy, Germany, Spain, France, United Kingdom, Brazil, China, United States, Turkey and Russia). The principal changes made to the continuous study have made it possible to refine and improve the precision of business insights into the brand role, image profile and characteristics of the different touchpoints that influence the end customer purchase decision.

The aim of Pirelli is to monitor this behaviour, measure the position of the brand over its various phases and support the planning activities in support of marketing strategies. The survey that has just been concluded has confirmed the position of Pirelli as one of the top two best recognised tyre brands in Italy, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. Specifically in Germany, Pirelli has grown both in terms of “top of mind” (14.6%, up 3 percentage points from 2012) and, more in general, “brand awareness” (44.8%, up 6.8 percentage points from 2012). It has confirmed its leadership in Italy even in terms of “brand consideration” (intention to buy).

Outside Europe, Pirelli has also performed very well in Brazil (in first place for each brand KPI) and in China, where Pirelli has a highly characterised and distinctive image profile for the premium consumers target.

Generally speaking, the performance of Pirelli in all countries is even more positive precisely amongst its principal monitored core targets: owners of premium cars or Formula 1 fans.