o2-logoInteresting news today that UK mobile operator O2 is seeing 1 million fewer customers calling their call centres, so they are investing £50M in more digital services.

Quoting from the press release:

O2 today set out bold plans to re-define its customer service offering to better respond to growing demand from customers wanting to be served by digital means. The company expects this to accelerate with the wider availability of 4G services from this summer.

In parallel to O2 seeing more customer demand for digital interaction, the company has seen a decline in voice calls to customer service – one million fewer per month compared to two years ago. In its place, customers are increasingly opting to interact through digital channels, including social media which has seen an eight fold increase in customer interaction over the last two years.

O2’s existing digital channels have become increasingly popular, with MyO2 being used nine million times a month for customers to check their bill, account and tariff information, allowance data, and to buy more ‘Bolt ons’. Web chat services are used three quarters of a million times every month and over half a million answers per month are given to questions on the O2 Community forum.

If any business needed proof that the digital shift has started – it is here.

Consumers want choice, and increasingly are becoming content with a self-service mode rather than calling a call centre and being placed in a queue and made to wait.

The O2 move is part of a trend to digitise the front office. Expect to see more of this in the coming months.

Social business is taking hold!