O2 trials instant click-and-collect in digital push

O2's marketing director, Nina Bibby
O2's marketing director, Nina Bibby

O2 is trialling "click-and-collect now", which allows customers to order a new phone online and collect it from a store immediately.

It isn’t clear whether O2 might eventually roll out the new offering, which is being tested across approximately 26 stores.

The operator already offers standard click-and-collect, as well as next-day delivery on orders made before 10pm.

O2’s marketing director, Nina Bibby, described the trial a continuation of O2’s push into digital services.

During an interview with Marketing, she said: "At its most basic level, we are making it as easy as possible for customers to engage with us and embrace technology."

Keeping O2 trustworthy

Bibby is approaching her second anniversary at O2’s parent company, Telefonica UK, where she has focused on the customer experience. The operator has fought off Vodafone, EE, Virgin Mobile and Three to take the top spot for customer service, with a 78% approval rating according to Ofcom.

She oversaw the introduction of next-day delivery last year, which she described as a "massive boost" to busy customers.

But keeping customers happy means more than making it easier for them to buy their next smartphone, Bibby said. It also means building trust through the introduction of O2 Gurus in 2009, who act as a face for the brand and help customers navigate technology.

According to Bibby, O2 customers who are simply aware of the gurus trust the operator 11% more than those who have never heard of them.

O2 has also focused on multi-channel communications, stepping up activity such as web chat and social media as fewer customers pick up the phone.

O2’s future

But the strength of O2’s brand may be under threat, after the owner of rival operator Three floated a £10.25bn merger. Hutchinson Whampoa and O2’s parent company, Telefonica, confirmed early-stage talks in January.

O2’s marketing team, however, remains focused on day-to-day operations.

Bibby said: "No deal is confirmed. All that’s happened is that Telefonica has entered into negotiations.

"We’re not even remotely planning, or discussing that. It’s absolutely about focusing on our winning formula."

When it comes to future areas of focus in 2015, Bibby said customers remain at the heart of O2’s operations.

Asked where O2 was putting its marketing budget, Bibby noted the growing importance of programmatic ads, though she added that O2 was always "cutting edge" on digital investment.

She said: "What has definitely clearly grown in importance is programmatic, that precision marketing gives us the opportunity to do personalised messages to customers or prospects in any digital display environment.

"That is only going to grow in importance."


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