His promotion is part of the retail group’s attempts to put customer service at the heart of its business strategy.
O’Keeffe will become development director of its Knowhow service brand, which was introduced in November and was described by the retailer at the time as a “fundamental shift” in how it does business. It aimed to boost sales at PC World and Currys by introducing a raft of customer service initiatives.
O’Keeffe will lead a yet to be built team dedicated to the Knowhow brand, services and delivering the programme across all areas of the business.
The potential market for added value services, claims O’Keeffe, is half a billion and says his job is to understand customer demands for after sales care and develop the next range of products and services to meet them and help Dixons capitalise on the market.
Dixons plans to launch an additional Knowhow service later this week, which offers customers a ‘Collect at Home’ service. Customers will be able to arrange for one of Dixons 400-strong fleet of delivery vans to collect items that are being returned or serviced under Knowhow customer care proposition.
The retail chain is also launching its first TV advertising campaign under the Knowhow brand in September to communicate the importance of customer care to the rest of the business, but that the important thing is to encourage customers into stores to experience it.
“Customer service is the way forward in the consumer electricals sector and we are a way forward from established competition and new entrants to the market,” he says.
“There is only so much you can do with an ad, it’s all about the customer feeling the difference when they’re in the store or online so it’s more about the training and staff giving the right message, service and recommendations.”
Andrea Silver, current director of customer strategy and marketing service, will take on the marketing director role with responsibility for strategy, advertising and consumer PR.
She will continue to have responsibility for insight, CRM, exclusive brands and marketing analytics.
The reshuffle comes as Dixons faces falling sales as cautious customers rein in spending on big ticket electrical items. The group recently reported a 2% fall in group sales to £8.2bn for the year to 30 April.
Rivals Comet and Argos have also recently posted disappointing results.
This story was updated on 10 August.