How O2 put the customer in the center
For a brand, speaking of customer-centricity is not enough: brands have to define "their" customer-centricity. This is a crucial aspect according to Sandra Fazackerley, the director of the customer experience at O2.
Centered on listening to your customers
That's why in 2018, the telecom company asked a sample of 5.000 customers what customer-centricity would mean for them. The brand focused on the challenges met by the customers. From this research came up the "Customer experience principles". These principles became rules for the employees at O2: the teams didn't live only customer-centricity, but the exact centricity that fitted O2's customers. Indeed, the "Customer experience principles" are more than a manifesto: it influences the processes and the customer communication, as well as the overall value proposition and the product experience, to name some key aspects.
Customer-centricity, first at the employee level
So that everyone keeps in mind the principles, those are promoted in the office rooms. O2 even dedicated a special room where employees could add a sticky note telling a concrete customer experience. O2 went further to remind all the employees of the importance of the customers: they launched the concept of the "blue chair". This chair is normal, just blue (the O2 brand color), but it symbolizes the customer in the meetings. The customer is a part of the sharing of thoughts within the team and is observing the decision; the customer became an invisible but powerful participant. Another key aspect of the "Customer experience principles" was to treat customers like a friend would, so adding and developing a personal touch. It's because O2 identified that customers wanted uncomplicated communications with partners and service agents.
To highlight the efforts of the employees to drive customer-centricity from a long-term perspective, O2 nominates the employees who work the most to support and promote the customer. Making customer-centricity a tangible part of the company culture is key. This is with the active and authentic help of the teams that Customer experience improves to the next level. O2 created a specific group on Facebook for this purpose, which is a good way of collecting customer stories too.
“If it’s going to be relevant to our customers then it has to be relevant to our people.”
Sandra Fazackerley, Head of Customer Experience at O2
Customer-centricity and Marketing
O2 approach regarding customer-centricity is very thorough, especially in the execution at the team level. The Marketing communication transports this focus too, especially on the Business section of the website where the brand underlines its "unrivaled support". This focus on the customer is quite common in Tech products where the differentiation in price and performance is getting hard. Therefore, customer-centricity becomes relevant to position a brand more strongly and humanly too.
This post is being inspired by the following articles and presentation :
Copyright picture: O2 pictures: screenshots from the O2 UK website, "Business" section (24.03.2021)