By: Mobile Industry Awards [http://www.mobiletoday.co.uk/Awards/2012/winners/14467/Best_Network_O2.aspx]
The competition in the Best Network category is always fierce and this year was no different. The judging panel spent longer deliberating and weighing up the merits of each network than they did with any other category. The panel said it was a tough, and close, decision but felt O2 fully merited the Best Network award ahead of last year’s winner Vodafone.
The judges said the operator had scored consistently higher than its rivals across each of the criteria. One said: ‘If you look at everything O2 does in the marketplace, it is ahead of its rivals.’
The operator’s wide ranging innovations and new products impressed the panel. The Priority Moments rewards promotion has given customers access to more than 1,900 offers from over 230 brands since it launched last year.
It recently launched its mobile payments service, the O2 Wallet, and continues to work on its O2 Health services for the healthcare sector. One judge said: ‘It’s coming up with continuing innovations to keep customers interested. Its Gurus are excellent and I’m also impressed with the Think Big initiative and how the operator uses it to connect with its community.’
O2 also innovated in the business space, launching the Joined Up People service in November to promote flexible working among customers. Its Joined Up Business platform provides a one-stop shop for IT and communications, and it continued to build on its O2 Unify service that provides end-to-end ICT capability for larger organisations.
The judges pointed out that O2 had one low score it could be proud of – the number of customer complaints. The network has consistently had fewer complaints to Ofcom than its rivals. ‘If O2’s scores are always so low, it must be doing something right,’ noted one judge, with the panel also pointing to its high retention rates.
The judges also felt it had learned from its problems with data from several years back by investing the equivalent of £1.5m per day in improving its network. One judge said: ‘O2 has been ironing out the flaws. Networks are investing to get over the data meltdown. There have been a couple of glitches but it is nothing like it was.’
One key consideration for our panel in this category was how each network presented itself to customers. One said: ‘O2 has certainly grabbed the imagination in terms of marketing. It has had impressive work with the O2 Arena, as well as big activities in the consumer and b2b spaces.’ The panel praised its warm and personable public image. One judge concluded: ‘A key thing here is consumer perception and O2’s advertising is winning the battle among consumers. It is communicating really effectively and winning hearts and minds.’