Customer Service Awards Blog

How Customer Service Award-winner Grew Customer Advocacy by 25%

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Feb 01, 2011 @ 04:01 PM

Jackie O'Leary, Vice President of Customer Operations at Everything Everywhere in the United Kingdom, was named Customer Service Executive of the Year in the customer service awards categories of The 2010 International Business Awards. Everything Everywhere is also a leading contender with multiple Finalists in the 2011 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, which will be announced in Miami Beach on February 21.

Jackie O'LearyEverything Everywhere is the joint venture company running two of Britain's most famous brands, Orange and T-Mobile. It is Britain's biggest communications company, with a combined customer base of almost 28 million—half the UK adult population, 6,000 employees, and more than 720 retail stores across the two brands. Everything Everywhere was recognized in The Stevies’ customer service award categories, and here we look at how they earned their reputation for service excellence.

The explosive growth of telecommunications over the past 20 years has also often been a tale of woe for the customer, with promised high-quality customer service often proving to be something of a myth.

Jackie O'Leary, Vice President of Customer Operations at Everything Everywhere, has made it her mission to ensure the story has a different ending, one where customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and an improved bottom line for the company can live happily together.

As VP of Customer Operations, O’Leary is responsible for the customer service, loyalty, and retention functions of the Orange and T-Mobile brands and has integrated them into one efficient, effective organization that is one of the market leaders for quality as well as size. This operation supports Everything Everywhere’s 28 million customers through a team of circa 10,000 advisers.

Brilliant Service
O’Leary joined Orange UK at the end of 2008 and had a phenomenally successful first year, leading the customer services business through a rapid and complete rejuvenation to catapult it back to leadership in mobile customer services.

To identify and deliver these improvements, O’Leary introduced the Brilliant Service program, creating 20 work-streams of activities to address every aspect of the customer experience.

O’Leary believes employee satisfaction links directly to customer satisfaction. She initiated the creation of an innovative customer satisfaction and performance measurement system called Brilliance, which enables thousands of customers to rate and comment on the service they receive on a daily basis.

For the first time these scores are linked directly to the customer service agents’ rewards, ensuring they take ownership of the customer experience on every call. Brilliance has also massively expanded customer insight.

The Bee’s Knees
O’Leary introduced a new reward-and-recognition scheme, The Bee’s Knees, providing monthly awards to top performers in customer advocacy or to those who help others to excel.

O’Leary also introduced new activities and initiatives under the banner 'Brilliant Place to Work', which included charity, community, and wellbeing weeks, concierge services, and—voted "best ever"—Christmas parties.

The annual employee survey, just nine months after she joined, showed O’Leary to be the bee’s knees herself, with meaningful increases across almost all metrics of employee engagement and loyalty.

Improving Processes
O’Leary also led a cross-Orange program to identify and improve Orange processes, products, and systems that were hampering customer satisfaction and delaying achievement of the company vision to be the “best-loved communications brand.”  These improvements cut customer calls by 14% and increased first-time resolution from 13% to 72%.

The results of O’Leary’s efforts make an incredible turnaround story. Customer satisfaction increased by 9% as measured by Brilliance in the second half of 2009, a considerable change in a customer base of 17 million. At the same time, O’Leary cut operating expenditure by 11% (double figures millions of pounds). Even more impressively, customer advocacy increased an unprecedented 25% in the same period.

By these key measures, O’Leary has returned Orange to a leadership position in mobile customer services. In its annual UK survey in May 2009, industry analysts JD Power rated Orange top for Pay Monthly customer services out of the major mobile network operators. Overall, Orange came second, up from fifth just two years earlier in a highly competitive market.

Following these achievements for Orange, Jackie was appointed to the Everything Everywhere Customer Operations role, where she is now bringing her own flavor of leadership to both brands, Orange and T-Mobile.

These are the just the latest successes in a stunning track record for O'Leary over the past 20 years. While this is definitely no fairy tale, we hope that Everything Everywhere, its customers, and its employees live happily ever after.

About Jackie O'Leary
Jackie O'Leary's career has encompassed senior roles and strategic projects for over 20 years at many of Europe's leading communications providers, including Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2, AOL, and Telewest. In May 2009 she was appointed VP of Customer Operations for Everything Everywhere, responsible for customer service, sales, loyalty, and retention. This followed 18 months running customer services for Orange UK. Previously, O’Leary had been VP Customer Services at The Carphone Warehouse, where she revived customer satisfaction and cut costs by £20 million. Prior to that, O’Leary ran a strategic consultancy for ten years.

About Everything Everywhere
Everything Everywhere Limited is the company running two of the UK’s most famous brands – T-Mobile (UK) and Orange (UK). Owned jointly by Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom respectively, Everything Everywhere Limited is the UK’s biggest communications company, with a combined customer base of almost 28 million people and more than 720 retail stores across the country. Everything Everywhere Limited plans to transform the industry by giving customers instant access to everything everywhere, offering the best value, best choice and best network experience in the country. For more information on Everything Everywhere visit

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