By Neil Blagden, Director of Digital & Commercial Operations, Vodafone UK
We know many UK home broadband users are reluctant to switch. People who want to switch may choose not to, because of worries such as service delays and cancellation issues. That’s why we’re taking action to improve the customer experience from day one.
Since launching our Home Broadband service in 2015, we’ve transformed the market for the better, so that customers enjoy more choice and better value. In 2016, Vodafone was first in the industry to abolish line rental for fibre optic home broadband customers. That meant people could still receive a home phone service without having to pay a penny to rent the line. Last year, we were the first to offer The Ultimate Broadband Guarantee, which guarantees speeds to your router or money off until it’s fixed.
Our market-leading initiatives have been a hit with consumers. Our Brand Net Promoter Score (NPS) – a measure of customer satisfaction – is the highest in the home broadband industry by a good margin. And Brand NPS is up by almost 40% compared with the same time last year. Customers have also given us the highest NPS score in the market when it comes to reliability.
The UK’s fastest growing home broadband service
Today, more and more people are choosing Vodafone Home Broadband. I’m really proud that Vodafone has been the UK’s fastest-growing home broadband service for six consecutive quarters.[i] 46,000 new customers chose Vodafone Home Broadband in the three months to 31 December, so we now serve a total of 525,000 customers. In the last year, our customer base has doubled in size. That means about half of our customers are recent switchers who have been with us for less than 12 months.
With large numbers of people switching providers to join our service, the challenge is making sure that the transition process for them is as easy and stress-free as possible. Currently, over 60% of the complaints we receive have to do with issues that arise when switching. Thanks to customer feedback, we’ve identified the areas where we need to improve and we’re already making changes.
Easy Switch helps new customers even before their broadband is activated
Since October 2018, we’ve been piloting an initiative called Easy Switch to tackle potential issues before a customer’s service is even activated.
Easy Switch agents are specially trained to help with activation, so customers can get fast responses to frequently asked questions. Customers give Easy Switch high ratings, and as a result, we’ve been rolling out the service to all new subscribers this month.
In addition to making sure our customers get connected without hassle, our Easy Switch team can also help customers with any query, such as how to check their bill using the My Vodafone app and why their first bill might look different (because the charges are calculated pro rata, the customer only starts paying for service once the connection is live).
Vodafone agents can also check that a customer’s router is set up correctly with the best possible WiFi speeds. They do this with TechSee, a technology that turns a customer’s smartphone into a video streaming device. TechSee lets our agents see the location of a home router and recommend changes to improve performance. The NPS scores we’ve seen for this service have been consistently high.
Improving diagnostics and technical support
We know how frustrating it is when customers experience slower than expected speeds, or technical failures that prevent them from going online. To tackle these issues and speed up our response times, we’re making three major changes.
First, we’re helping customers get in touch with technical experts who can help even faster than before. Our care agents can now connect customers with the technical team right away, so there’s no need to wait. That has boosted customer satisfaction scores significantly.
Second, we’re improving the diagnostic process our agents follow when they’re identifying the source of a technical problem. To connect the customer with the right technical expert, agents need to make sure that they’ve correctly understood what caused the fault in the first place.
Third, we’re making it quicker and easier for customers to get an update once they’ve reported a fault. In the past, customers with an outstanding technical issue were unable to contact the team handling the problem directly. From 1st January 2019, they receive a direct dial number, and using our interactive voice response (IVR) system to verify their identity, they’ll be able to get in touch with the tech team looking after their case.
Giving customers the best possible experience
The changes we’re making are just the start. We want everyone who chooses Vodafone as their home broadband provider to have a great experience with us, whether you’re already a Vodafone Mobile customer, or brand new to Vodafone. Watch this space for more industry-leading initiatives!
[i] Independent research by GfK Tech360 – based on 33,949 interviews with broadband users between Oct 2016 to Sept 2017 and 33,352 interviews with broadband users between Oct 2017 and Sept 2018 – asked respondents which broadband provider they had recently switched to.