Vodafone to launch new partner programme in 2016

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Platinum, Gold and Silver tiers to be scrapped after five years in favour of a total comms capability and customer service excellence model

Vodafone will introduce a new partner programme next year as it continues its move to becoming a total communications provider.

The operator announced details of this at its annual Partner Conference, which took place at the St John’s Hotel in Solihull earlier today.

It will see the Platinum, Gold and Silver tiers that dealers have been placed into since the formation of Vodafone Partner Services (VPS) in September 2010 scrapped.

The new model, which is based around total communications capability and customer service excellence, aims to put more focus on the customer as being central to the sales and service experience.

To be placed in the top tier, dealers will need to demonstrate the ability to sell a certain amount across mobile, fixed line, OneNet and WAN, and future products such as M2M and cloud services, as well as customers taking more than one product. Vodafone did not disclose targets.

These top partners will also be expected to meet certain criteria regarding customer service in terms of how they manage their customers and how easy and enjoyable it is to deal with them.

Again, exact details were not revealed at this stage, but Vodafone will partly measure this through customer satisfaction surveys, with testimonials not only praising the partner for the breadth of product portfolio, but also about service.

The new programme will launch early next year. Vodafone will then assess each of its 400 partners over the coming months where they will receive training and gain accreditations before it places them into the various tiers.

Partners will then be able to wear market-facing badges alongside any company branding to inform customers of what tier they have been placed in.

Each tier will also come with a number of benefits for partners, including additional marketing support, bespoke customer service support, training and development.

The current programme, including the Platinum, Gold and Silver tiers, will continue until the end of Vodafone’s current financial year on March 31, 2016.

Speaking to Mobile News, head of Vodafone Partner Services Rob Mukherjee (pictured) said: “This should be a really meaningful change for our customers because our old programme was mainly based around mobile and not so much fixed line. We wanted something more total communications and customer-focused.

“The industry is changing so we have to assess what role we and our partners play in that market. This is about transforming our business and partnerships to meet the demands of today’s customers.”

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