Improve brand image

China Unicom establishes a full-service brand framework system under its corporate brand. "WO" is a full-service brand of China Unicom, and also a core brand for communication with users that is endorsed by the corporate brand of China Unicom. In 2016, China Unicom made intensive efforts to build its 4G brand image by creating "quality network", "quality products" and "quality services". NPS survey in the fourth quarter 2016 showed that the Company experienced a substantial improvement in terms of brand recognition and word-of-month awareness.

Brand Framework of China Unicom

Improve service capability

In 2016, China Unicom had 20,700 self-operated stores, in which 15,000 were operated in form of chained operation of terminals covering 436 cities, prefectures and districts in 30 provinces, which is the largest terminal retail chain channel with the most extensive coverage in China. By improving in-store digitalisation in terms of hardware and software and optimising the business process, the store efficiency and foot traffic improved significantly. The business volume increased by 10%, foot traffic increased by 30% and the number of in-store brands increased by 50%.

Improve store service capability

The Company intensively promoted "joint construction and joint operation" mode between stores and terminal suppliers, improved terminal outlet atmosphere and sales capacity by making use of the resources of the terminal suppliers in order to create an "information terminal retail experience" outlet store with "good quality and best price". Special zones and special counters for terminal brands were set up in stores to enable users to enjoy an immersive experience through the scenario-based marketing services of the salesmen.

The Company successively marked its nationwide self-owned stores on Baidu map so as to provide LBS services based on the locations of users and at the same time offer mainstream products to users through a third-party Internet platform and also guide users to make their ways to outlets accurately.

(Note: Location Based Service is a location-based value added service provided to users by obtaining information relating to the position of mobile terminal users through the radio communication network of operators or external positioning mode to offer the related services to the users with the support of geological information system platform.)

Build digital stores

In order to create a marketing mode of "regulated management, standardised layout, modernized equipment, digital operation and paperless sign-up", China Unicom set up a special project to build "digital stores" under the themes of intelligent stores and modernisation of sales tools.

  • Integrated various hardware devices in stores to form an integrated tool in order to reduce maintenance costs;

  • Provided "APP light touchpoint + slim device" professional sales devices to sales personnel, which is convenient to operate without the need to use any paper;

  • Adopted digital means such as paperless sign-up and payment via scanning to save costs and improve efficiency.

Shorten the in-store servicing time

In order to effectively save the waiting time of customers, the Company carried out a special action to "shorten the servicing time at store counters".

  • Promoted connected queuing machines, and let customers check real-time queuing status and make reservations on mobile APP and online store;

  • Reduced the customers’ queuing time by means of giving consultants’ recommendation, setting up express window for handling issues relating to bill payment/ invoice, on site ad hoc staff arrangement and setting pre-acceptance/ bill counter;

  • Promoted the commitment of "hundred times of credits reward for overtime queuing" in which pilot operations had been carried out in certain self-owned stores;

  • Launched the WO sign-up platform nationwide to simplify the operation of the front desk operation.

Expand online channels

China Unicom strives to provide better online services and also better enhance its value, continuously improves e-commerce service ability, strengthens online channel development and social e-commerce cooperation, accelerates service touchpoints expansion and boosts online and offline integrated operation.

  • Comprehensively coordinated internal and external online touchpoints, and set up an Internet touchpoint marketing system which comprise its own stores (including online stores and mobile stores), JD flagship store, Tmall flagship store, WeChat public account, WeChat store together with other external contacts; sustainably promoted O2O business platforms such as online WO store, Buy by Code, and OTA sign-up, and provide online/ offline integrated marketing ability in the offline stores;

  • Explored centralised order verification mode, and offered 7×24h uninterrupted order verification services;

  • Take advantage of physical stores to carry out the "salesperson + users" bilateral incentive initiative, resulting in a significant increase in the number of new APP users.

By rolling out mega online marketing activities such as "Purchases for Spring Festival", "517 Online Shopping Festival" and "Singles’ Day Carnival", and through cooperation with JD, Tmall and Tencent, the Company achieved a remarkable result in e-commerce development.

Strengthen Internet e-services

  • Promoted the sharing of the Internet service capability, and expanded the Internet services portal. Online customer service touchpoints amounted to 116, and primary touchpoints included online store, mobile store, WeChat store, WO Window, WO mailbox, WO music, WO TV, and WO Fortune etc.;

  • Integrated the Internet knowledge base which has the capability to conduct unified distribution integrating the online channel, robot and hotline channel. We preliminarily realised "a single compilation available for all channels" to offer support to various service channels;

  • Expanded the new media publicity matrix of customer service on a continuous basis; by positioning a new media matrix centring at "China Unicom Customer Service" account, managed 129 WeChat and Weibo accounts, gathered 207 members of the Post Bar Alliance such as Xiaomi, CITIC Octopus Card and Meitu, and developed Internet new media resources with 25 partners from different industries, such as UC, 360, LeTV and Huawei;

  • Strengthened the opening and operation of service capacity such as online customer service and Baidu Zhidao, explored big data, and scenario-based knowledge marketing, and enhanced the centralised operation of online customer service.

Improve hotline service level

  • Pushed forward special rectification of irregular service, and achieved zero complaints on the irregularity of hotline service;

  • Carried out international roaming customer perception improvement programme to improve ability to accept online international roaming service signup;

  • Provided convenient smart service, and activated intelligent voice navigation service in seven provinces;

  • Pushed forward the integration of services, sales and relationship maintenance, and served customers online;

  • Strengthened the basic operation and management of hotlines, and improved the hotline service capability and level.

Customer Services

Optimise service perception

China Unicom strives to improve customer service level aiming at enhancing customer satisfaction. It streamlines the after-sales service channels by means of perfecting store and e-service to facilitate communication with the customers. In 2016, the Company focused on dealing with customers’ concerns around key services, key channels and key dispute issues, conducted monthly analysis on customer service, sets up a key issue listing/delisting mechanism, and compelled internal departments to effectively resolve those issues. In 2016, 36 issues were listed, and 13 of them were rectified and delisted tracing back to the source of such issues systematically, facilitating the thorough solution of similar issues.

Improve complaint solution ability

The Company is committed to properly handling user complaints well and duly solving service disputes. It built a nationwide first tier service support platform, and formed a large service operation and management system with a three-tier Group-Province-City organisational structure covering eight major segments. It intensively promoted complaint classification and grading management, continuously traced and handled unsolved complaints and problems by making use of work orders, and carried out strict evaluation and certification of the outcomes to guarantee the quality and results in resolving problems, so as to compel on an end-to-end basis back office departments to resolve issues encountered by the customers.

The Company set up a complaint early warning model which relies on its big data platform, developed user characteristic profiles in six dimensions, including user’s loyalty, character traits, user’s social circle, natural property, complaint process and complaint business scenario, identified the groups that are prone to grievance so as to help customer service representatives to provide differential services and in turn to improve customer satisfaction.

In 2016, the nationwide 10010 customer service hotline handled in aggregate 17.86 million complaints, with a complaint solution rate of 95.6%, and the monthly average complaint rate during the year was 3.61 person-times/million users, representing a decrease of 1.6% on a year-on-year basis.

Carry out customer’s word-of-mouth evaluation (NPS)

On the basis of the customers’ demands and perception, the Company persistently carries out NPS evaluation and pushes forward the self-improvement of business, network and services. In 2016, the Company successively carried out a comprehensive group-wide customer word-of-mouth NPS evaluation on its mobile and broadband operations. Samples covered cities and counties, and the performance indicators were delineated to different specialised teams to monitor dynamically the self-improvement of customer word-of-mouth and the change in the gap with industry peers, and pushed forward the internal management improvement work of each specialised team centring on the word-of-mouth of the customers. The overall NPS for 4G users improved by 5.5 points and that for broadband access improved by 4.5 points.