EE is to open a further 100 stores by the end of 2019 in a move that will see its retail presence reach 700 outlets.
This will include a new partnership with Sainsbury’s, which will see it open a number of outlets within the supermarket’s outlets, as well as Argos shops.
The expansion will result in the creation of 400 customer service roles in these stores across the UK and forms part of an ambition to provide 95 per cent of the population with access yo an EE store within 20 minutes’ drive.
The mobile operator is also launching a variety of new store formats.
Showcase stores will contain dedicated ‘Help Hubs’ for customer service and areas to experience new technology products such as Google Home, the Apple Watch and Samsung VR headsets.
EE’s partnership with Sainsbury’s will see 100 new stores open in the supermarket chain’s outlets and in Argos shops
The first of these flagship stores are being refurbished this month and will be re-open in August. Locations include London’s Tottenham Court Road, Westfield Stratford and White city, and Nottingham Victoria.
In addition, pop-up shops and cabins will appear in shopping centres and other locations; while mobile EE shops in vans will serve customers in remote areas.
EE is launching a trail of an in-store video calling service to provide customers with the ability to speak to specialist customer service teams.
It has also updated its repair service with a ‘Mend & Lend’ option, which gives customers a like-for-like replacement when their device is being sent away for repair.
EE CEO Marc Allera said: “We provide some of the best customer service of any mobile operator in the UK, and we’ve learned there’s no substitute for getting help from an expert in person.
“I know our customers prefer to talk to real people in our UK and Ireland call centres rather than receiving help from a bot, which is where many other companies are investing.
“We’re investing in more people in our customer service teams, more stores for them to serve customers from, and exciting new technology that will help our teams provide even better service.
Mobile shops in vans will serve customers in the most remote areas
“Alongside our mission to provide superfast 4G to every corner of the UK, this expansion aims to provide all of our customers with a premium, personal service no matter where they are located.”
In the last year, EE has made improvements to its customer service operations by bringing callcentres back to the UK and Ireland, as well as investing improved online chat capabilities and the new ‘My EE’ application.
It also recently became the first UK-wide mobile network operator yo provide Welsh language customer service. EE’s contact centre in Merthyr Tydfil now offers this as an option, with its retail stores across the country increasing the number of Welsh speakers.