Our key priority is to reward our customers
We have recently announced plans for a major investment in the O2 customer experience, including:
- a fourth customer service centre in the UK, in Glasgow, generating 1,500 jobs
- an accelerated roll-out of O2 stores recruiting 500 new employees
- new propositions that reward our customers.
O2 UK currently has around 4,500 front line employees in customer service, split across three main locations: Leeds, Bury and Warrington. Each customer service centre focuses on specific customer segments and aims to provide a quick and personalised service.
The new Glasgow centre will generate 1,500 jobs in the region. Since July 2004, the number of O2 customer service employees has increased by 20 per cent. The additional investment aims to provide us with even more resources to improve our customer service, including shorter call waiting times and more flexibility and resilience in dealing with changing customer needs.
We endeavour to make our pricing transparent, open and clear and we publish all our tariffs in our stores and on our website. We are in the process of implementing a multi-million project to pull together our various billing platforms onto one system and to introduce an advanced customer relationship management system.
Work already completed on the project has enabled customers to view their bills online. A new web-based tool in our retail stores enables new customers' mobile phones to be set up and activated on the spot.
However, it has been a long process and we have experienced some teething problems along the way. For example, a small percentage of customers (less than one per cent) were affected by a technical problem during Summer 2004 in which they were billed inaccurately for some calls. We quickly resolved the problem and, as a goodwill gesture, gave affected customers a 25 per cent discount on their next bill.
In line with our work to reward loyalty and to encourage customer retention, we introduced free calls for our contract customers to charity helplines such as ChildLine and Crimestoppers. We continue to offer pre-pay deals that enable customers to control their spending as they go.