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Vodafone Aims for Amazon Levels of Customer Service Success

May 23, 2012

Along with posting its annual results yesterday — which were at the top end of forecasts, due largely to growing smartphone use — wireless network provider Vodafone, chief executive officer Vittorio Colao also unveiled the company's plans for the next three years. Dubbed “Vodafone 2015: Supermobile strategy,” the plans include duplicating the success of online retail giant Amazon.

Colao stated, over a lunchtime briefing, “Vodafone wants to be the Amazon of telecos.” He went on to specify that he meant in terms of top-class customer service rather than sales. As such, the company is planning to refit 75 percent of its 2,200 stores around the world by 2015, in order to provide a superior experience for consumers.

Colao noted that most mobile providers' stores, including Vodafone's currently, are just rooms full of handsets and said that he wants Vodafone's shops to be more like service centers featuring, of course, excellent service. He also wants customers to have the option of buying their products online, then picking them up in store. Colao went on to add that he wants Vodafone stores to provide "a consistent and flawless experience."

Additionally, Vodafone's future plans include improving its network and providing “healthy data pricing models” to support the rising number of smartphone users while allowing the provider to stand out from the crowd. The goal here is for Vodafone to increase customer loyalty and sustain average revenue per user as well as improve the average margin per user.

The network provider's three-year plan was presented separately from its 34-page earnings statement to analysts, investors and media. Vodafone also mentioned that it may not go ahead with its plans for an initial public offering (IPO) of shares — at least not this year. The company may revisit the plans at a later date after clearing up uncertainty regarding the rules of auction and pricing of radio waves.

Edited by Brooke Neuman