The company is currently on the hunt for a head of customer strategy who will sit within the marketing team and will be responsible for the operator’s network perception.
The incumbent will lead the marketing execution of all network perception initiatives and will also provide marketing leadership about whether Three needs to invest in coverage and capacity on the network to provide the best customer experience.
A job ad for the role says as Three embarks on its strategy to become a “marketing-led organisation” – a journey that started about a year ago – the marketing strategy holds network perception as a “significant influence” on customer experience and “key” to attracting and retaining customers.
The perception of Three’s network is likely to have been affected from customers who trialled its services shortly after it first launched in the UK in 2003 and found coverage to be patchy considering its size relative to larger rivals such as Vodafone, Orange and O2.
Since then it has made major investments in its network, particularly this year when it will effectively doubled its network capacity following Ofcom’s 4G spectrum auction. It aims to switch on 4G for customers in December and for its 4G services to cover 98 per cent of the population by 2015.
Current customer perception of the brand in YouGov BrandIndex’s measures that touch network capacity are still currently behind the majority of its competitors, however.
It is currently ranked in sixth place in terms of “purchase intent”, behind Vodafone, EE and O2 (and also BT and Virgin Media, outside of the mobile operator sector). For “quality”, Three is ranked in 16th place behind all its major competitors.
In Ofcom’s latest telecoms and pay TV complaints report Three generated complaints in excess of the industry average at 0.09 complaints per 1,000 customers – although this also measures customer dissatisfaction for areas beyond network coverage and was ahead of the worst offenders T-Mobile and Orange.
Vodafone’s early marketing activity ahead of the launch of its 4G spectrum played heavily on spectrum coverage and its commitment to reach 98 per cent of the possible indoor coverage in the UK.