Virgin Mobile UK is a mobile phone service provider, operating 80 stores with 550 staff in retail outlets and a further 200 in “Lite” pop-up locations. The business is part of Virgin Media, the first provider of all four broadband, TV, mobile phone and home phone services in the UK.
Sarah Arthur is the Retail Communications Manager at Virgin Mobile UK. Her team are responsible for employee communications across all Virgin Mobile retail outlets.
Virgin Mobile implemented the SnapComms internal communications software in 2008, using a variety of channels to cater to different requirements.
Desktop alerts ensure high impact to get employee attention immediately, whether via desktop, mobile or digital signage.
Desktop tickers newsfeed-style text scroll across the bottom of employees’ computer screens to provide fast updates of information at-a-glance, with low staff intrusion.
Staff surveys provide an easy way for staff to anonymously submit feedback or suggestions, and for managers to take a workplace temperature check.
Digital internal newsletters are a rich multimedia tool for creative storytelling and building brands internally.
The desktop alerts have been used in a wide variety of situations, such as to notify staff when support centers are closed, advise the time and nature of IT systems changes, provide updates about tariffs and exclusions, and communicate sales incentive campaigns.
Arthur explains that “store staff on the shop floor needed something that popped up in whatever tool they were using and SnapComms gave us that ability. It is the tool we use to push information to store staff.”
While each of the SnapComms channels that Virgin Mobile have can be used in isolation, they do integrate seamlessly. For example, the staff survey is used to get feedback and views from stores and can be distributed in combination with a desktop alert, directing employees to further information and the link to the survey.
Store managers are very supportive of the staff surveys and understand their importance in getting information back from the stores to head office – it’s not unusual to achieve 100% response rates.
SnapComms is now their main retail communication channel and vital to operations, as the information it conveys to staff enables Virgin Mobile to trade very day.
Stores have reacted well to the tools, finding it simple and easy to receive information.
This has been achieved through the Retail Communications team controlling the level of communication so that staff are not bombarded. They have ensured that the tools are not over-used and that they do not step outside users’ expectations.
Arthur says that “SnapComms is just an accepted way for staff to receive communications.”