O2 to invest £50 million in major enhancement and expansion of digitally led customer services

Published: 21/05/2013
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  • O2 to extend its existing partnership with Capita by a further 10 years to include the running and management of its call centres in a move designed to re-balance investment towards new digital customer services
  •  In response to changes in customer behaviour and a decline in the number of customers calling customer service, O2 commits to a £31 million investment in serving customers by digital means and announces what is believed to be a global first to offer customers the opportunity to check their accounts by tweeting.
  • A further £19 million will be invested in transforming O2 stores to mirror O2’s online shopping experience

O2 today set out bold plans to re-define its customer service offering to better respond to growing demand from customers wanting to be served by digital means. The company expects this to accelerate with the wider availability of 4G services from this summer.

In parallel to O2 seeing more customer demand for digital interaction, the company has seen a decline in voice calls to customer service – one million fewer per month compared to two years ago. In its place, customers are increasingly opting to interact through digital channels, including social media which has seen an eight fold increase in customer interaction over the last two years.

O2’s existing digital channels have become increasingly popular, with MyO2 being used nine million times a month for customers to check their bill, account and tariff information, allowance data, and to buy more ‘Bolt ons’. Web chat services are used three quarters of a million times every month and over half a million answers per month are given to questions on the O2 Community forum.

In response, the £50 million Digital Customer Experience Plan announced today includes:

Extension of partnership with Capita

O2 is extending its existing 20 year partnership with Capita by a further 10 years to include the running of O2’s call centres. Three quarters of O2’s customer contact work is currently outsourced. This deal means Capita, who already have 1,800 people handling enquiries from O2 customers, will take responsibility for all outsourced activity. The deal will allow O2 to re-balance its investment in customer service across multiple channels. Capita’s proven approach will ensure O2 maintains quality of service for its customers and also provide additional opportunities for employees. The contract is expected to commence 1st July 2013.

£31 million investment in digital service channels

This commitment will allow O2 to scale and enhance its digital service channels, such as web chat, MyO2 and Guru TV (O2’s YouTube help channel which has 20 million views to date). In what is believed to be a world-first, O2 today announces a new service with IMImobile to offer customers the opportunity to check their account details by Tweeting, which will be available in the coming months.

£19 million overhaul of O2 retail stores

This investment will be used to create an in-store experience that mirrors shopping with O2 online, recognising that customers are increasingly using a range of channels before making a purchase – 70 per cent of customers go online to research handsets before even setting foot in store.

Feilim Mackle, Sales and Services Director at Telefónica UK, said:

“Soaring smartphone usage and mobile internet has fundamentally changed what people expect from customer service. Customers want a broader and more flexible way to contact companies. That’s why O2 has today announced a comprehensive plan to make sure we continue to serve our customers in new, innovative, digital ways and maintain our leadership in customer experience.”

“Our customers want a seamless experience from browsing online to making a final choice in store – our commitment to invest further in our digital service channels and the overhaul of our retail stores will help us join up the dots.”

“As a recognised leader in the field of using social media and online channels to talk to customers, we are taking bold steps to stay in front and to give customers increased choice to do business with us the way they want to. We are proud to have industry leading customer retention. Great customer service is part of our DNA and will continue to be.”

O2 was the first company to offer web chat for customer care as opposed to sales, and has followed that with one of the UK’s most progressive uses of Twitter as a customer management tool.

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About O2

O2 is the commercial brand of Telefónica UK Limited and is a leading communications company with over 23 million customers – read more about O2 at www.o2.co.uk/news. O2 runs 2G and 3G networks and was the first to trial 4G/LTE, reaching speeds of over 100Mpbs, as well as owning half of Tesco Mobile. It also operates O2 Wifi, O2 Health, O2 Unify, O2 Media and has recently launched the O2 Wallet. O2 employs over 11,000 people in the UK, has over 450 retail stores and sponsors The O2, O2 Academy venues and the England rugby team. Telefónica UK Limited is part of Telefónica Europe plc which uses O2 as its commercial brand in the UK, Ireland, Slovakia, Germany and the Czech Republic and is a business division of Telefónica SA.

About Capita

Capita plc is the UK’s leading provider of BPO and integrated professional support service solutions. With 52,500 people at more than 350 sites, including 70 business centres across the UK, Europe, India and South Africa, the Group uses its expertise, infrastructure and scale benefits to transform its clients’ services, driving down costs and adding value. Capita is quoted on the London Stock Exchange (CPI.L), and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 with 2012 revenue of £3.3 billion and profit before tax of £426 million. Further information on Capita plc can be found at: www.capita.co.uk

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