Friday, 7 March 2008

User Learning Journey with O2 broadband

'User learning journey' isn't a term I like much. But I've just been on one with O2 broadband. They say they've thought hard about Broadband - to make theirs the best. That's a big boast. But they also have a compelling promise - it's so good that if you're not completely satisfied within the first 100 days 'we'll give you your money back'. O2 has just extended its £5 a month discount to pay as you talk customers, so at £7.50 and unlimited use it is a whole £10.49 cheaper than my previous ISP. Even better sign up via Topcashback and you get £25 back - so that's your first three months and change for free. O2 must believe we'll remain loyal - and with 1 in 3 mobile users choosing O2's network they must be doing something right.

Why a 'user learning journey'? Well O2 have really thought about what it's like to be a customer and then they communicate with you capturing that anticipation. When you sign up they send you a text and an email thanking you and showing where you can track your order's progress - you won't need to, they update you by text every step of the way. Next it was 'Good news' I was going live within a week. Then more 'Good news' - my free wireless kit was on its way - but if the delivery slot didn't suit I could text 1 for the next day, 2 for the day after etc. When you open the dull brown cardboard box from the courier company you see the bright blue O2 livery and all the goodies. Naturally you can't wait for the service to start, they know that - so they warn you not to set up until they tell you.

Yesterday just after lunch my broadband went dead and I was rid of Madasafish and their quirky name. Then nothing. Oh no I thought, it's not going to work... At 18.15 I thought I'd better phone O2 and see what was wrong. A confident and friendly Scot reassured me that all was going to plan, and I'd 'definitely' be live 'this evening' but in the meantime I could plug in my router and watch the lights go green - but don't run the CD until we send you your text. I excitedly plugged in and lights flashed just as described in the pocket size manual.

At 1900 hrs on the dot my text summed it up 'Great have now been connected to O2'. See 'User learning journey' - 'Great' was just how I felt.
O2 has developed some very clever software (I'm no expert, but it seems to work). Whereas in the past when a connection didn't work I'd spend ages on the phone, while reconnecting, re-configuring or re-booting and generally feeling a bit foolish. O2 have eliminated a lot of that. Their software diagnoses its own problems - and helpfully tells you its just going to intervene and have a look inside and then try something a bit different. It's not quite this chatty, but you do defintely feel they're talking you through it. Sorry to gush - its just so rarely that services so exceed their promise.


As a slight aside, I signed up to O2 via a cashback website. I've read about these before but I couldn't really see it being worthwhile - even though some forum posters claim to have earned thousands of pounds - but I'm naturally cynical. However Topcashback's promise of £25 just to click through to O2 from their site after opening an account was too good to pass up. My account shows the credit and I've left feedback for other cutsomers thinking of joining O2 - so I guess they'll get their £25 worth of recommendation. After leaving feedback I saw an offer to buy recordable DVD's very cheap with Dixons Dixital - cash back too. Apparently I've saved an extra 34p on £8.49 for 50 DVD's. Well, I would have done if Dixons could actually fulfill the order. They're one of my least favourite retailers, so more fool me. Next time I'll share my story about Dixons 'Tax Free' shopping at a BAA airport near you. In the meantime a warning - its not the deal you might be expecting...

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