Vodafone recently announced plans to invest £100m in opening 150 new stores around the UK over the next year. This will develop their high-street footprint to over 500 stores, but why would a brand like Vodafone be investing in the high street when it costs so much and they already have a great online offering?
This is just one part of the Vodafone strategy. They are also ploughing an enormous amount of cash into improving their network so that over 98% of the country has access to their data services by 2015.
If the service itself is developed to be one of the best available then the customer service needs to match and having a mix of online and offline service channels does make sense. Many customers – even tech-savvy ones – often find it easier to go and talk to a real person about their phone problems so by placing the Vodafone team at the heart of almost every shopping centre in the country they will create a natural advantage over similar brands.
This strategy really confirms that customer service can be a key differentiator – it can make the difference between a customer using your service or not – assuming that the baseline of having a good product is there. If people see that Vodafone not only has a good online service centre, but is also in every local shopping centre then that will be a compelling reason for many people to use their service.
Customer service once again becomes the central part of an entire business strategy for a major brand.
Photo by Mo Elnadi licensed under Creative Commons