3/5/2009 12:50:00 PM
O2 CEO: How we serve customers is changing
O2 chief executive Ronan Dunne is introducing new products as the operator makes change amid the volatile market. He also revealed he has not ruled out job cuts in 2009.
The operator’s focus will change this year, as less calls go into call centres and retail becomes a priority, Dunne (pictured) told Mobile.
He said: ‘The focus will be on making sure our cost base is competitive, to give value to customers. I’m not saying we are cutting back, but the mix is changing on how we serve them. If the number of calls is falling, we can have our call centres talking about broader customer services.’
Dunne said although he had not ruled out job cuts, headcount reduction would not be ‘radical’. He added: ‘I would never rule out the possibility of job cuts anywhere in the business, but we need to be better than anyone else and gain share.’
O2 will introduce more products for existing customers, which will include building on its priority ticketing service on phones.
The operator also plans to introduce products in the family segment, with a concentration on devices and tariffs. Dunne hinted that there will be themes around financial control and that ‘some of this will be bundling’.
He added: ‘I think it is tailoring to specific customer needs.’
Near field communication will ‘move to the next level’ in 2009 with a combined phone and Oyster card, building on O2’s trials with TFL in 2008. Dunne said: ‘There is a very clear consumer appetite, we will make good progress in that space.’
Meanwhile, the CEO defended criticisms of the operator’s network coverage: ‘Bad coverage delivered early is no use to anyone. It is about what we do; we have improved.
He added: ‘Our network is highly optimised and we will have further capacity as customers sign up. There will be continual upgrading – speed and capacity are part of the same coin. It’s about getting the balance right.’
Last week, O2 reported strong results with 798,690 new contract customers and 289,176 prepay users in 2008.
Dunne said: ‘We want to improve, there is no complacency. I was particularly pleased by how we ended the quarter, with a good balance of business growth and also strong customer satisfaction numbers.’