O2 Unwires Selfridges

O2 provides mobile communications system for Selfridges department store in London

July 4, 2005

2 Min Read

LONDON -- Selfridges has liberated the senior management team within its flagship store on Oxford Street in London with the help of leading mobile operator, 02.

Historically, communication with compartment duty managers and senior managers within the store was limited to the use of pagers and departmental telephones, with the designated store Duty Manager provided with a mobile handset for immediate contact. Initial plans were made to introduce a DECT telephone system (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) to make all senior managers easily accessible and reduce the amount of time spent answering emails and returning calls. O2, however, presented another suggestion for the company to mobilise its sales managers.

O2 increased the mobile coverage within the London store to 95%, at no cost to Selfridges, and offered a competitive call-rate and handset cost to rival the plan for a DECT system. The phone numbers were connected to the Selfridges voice network and shortened to five digit extension numbers connecting to each phone. The five digit shortcodes speed dial the phone via the external O2 network allowing a swift, convenient and secure connection to duty managers operating on the shop floor. The service also includes trunk-to-trunk transfer allowing incoming customer calls to be transferred by the same process to the required manager.

A trial of the scheme began in April 2005 with six handsets within the Menswear department and one within the Foodhall. The trial was intended to last until 31st May, but within a matter of weeks it proved so successful and cost effective that the number of handsets was increased to include Operations Managers and then rolled out to over 20 key retail compartments throughout the Oxford Street store. There are now over 35 02 handsets in use within the store enabling the business to stay in touch with its key retail team wherever they are in the store.

“The response from all areas of the business has been fantastic.” Said Nick Vowles, Project Manager for the scheme, “Our Sales Managers can now spend more time on the shop floor, managing their staff and interacting with customers. It also makes the lives of our centralised Switchboard team a lot easier, as they previously had to rely upon paging Duty Managers or locating them within departments. Our customers can now be connected to a Senior Manager immediately, which drastically improves our service.”

”The project with Selfridges clearly shows how a mobile system can really change the way that a business operates,” added Helen Wylde, Head of Corporate Marketing, O2. “Not only are we making duty managers more accessible in the store, we are making significant productivity efficiencies and increasing customer experience by allowing each manager to communicate directly with customers from the shop floor.”

O2 Ltd.

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