Understanding our customers, strengthening our network

By Paul Pattinson, Head of Service Management at Telefónica UK.

As we approach our 3rd decade of mobile, our customers are demanding more from our network than ever before. Connectivity is an essential part of our 24 million customers’ lives and with data traffic doubling annually, mobile now connects people to their digital lives. For the 450,000 UK businesses we support, it’s as much an essential a part of how they connect with their customers as it is fundamental to their operations.

As a mobile network that has always been famous for putting its customers right at the heart of its business, the way we run our network is no exception.

Our teams strive daily to ensure our customers and businesses get a consistently positive network experience. We don’t always get it right. Not being able to make a call, text or go online can be rather frustrating, which is why we’ve got a number of ways to make sure this is kept to a minimum.

It starts with customer insight.  Listening to customers’ feedback and replicating their experiences, good or bad, is an integral part of how we build, operate and improve our network to keep our customers connected.

It’s why we send our network drive test team hundreds of thousands of miles a year making and receiving calls and texts, using email and the internet to constantly measure the performance of our networks so we can identify and resolve any problems quickly.

It’s why we employ the biggest engineering brains in the industry who develop innovative new technologies, such as our Self Optimising Network to always make sure the network performance is as good as it could be in a particular area.

It’s why we carry out weekly network satisfaction surveys across the UK and read each and every verbatim comment from customers as well as monitoring customers’ responses on Facebook and Twitter 24-7.

It’s why we launched our award winning coverage tools.  For instance, our online status checker tool shares mast information in a particular area so customers can easily see if there is a problem and if it’s being addressed. It’s monitored in real-time so we can see if there has been a sudden surge in the number of checks meaning we can quickly identify if there’s a problem and deal with it.

It’s why we launched ‘My Network’, an intelligent app that gives us valuable information if a customer experiences a network problem.  It’s simple and easy to use. There’s no logins or passwords and it gives real-time status updates and network speed tests wherever our customers are in the country. More importantly it gives customers the ability to tell us if their experience hasn’t been great. And if there’s no signal, it stores the information they want to share with us on the device until there’s coverage again. If you haven’t got it, download it here and use it to let us know if you ever have a poor network experience.  Hopefully you won’t need to.

And it’s why, for our business customers, we analyse and report on their network experiences daily to ensure we’re spotting (and fixing) any problems as quickly as possible, in many cases before they become noticeable to customers.

We’re incredibly proud of our network and the work we’re doing to make it better, stronger, faster and smarter. We are unfaltering from our ambitious modernisation plans and our Ofcom coverage commitment of 98% by 2017.

But that’s the future. We know that what really matters is the actual experience you are having right now. That’s why we put your experience at the heart of how we design, build and operate our network.  We believe only by doing this can we give our customers the best experience possible.

For more information on our network visit our website.