Vodafone is working on several IT projects to help its retail teams improve customer service.

It is halfway through the roll-out of a new broadband network infrastructure to its 350 existing stores. This is being accompanied by a digital signage service to provide information on the latest relevant offers.

The mobile phone retailer is also adopting a staff-scheduling tool – already in use at its Czech Republic operation – to enable managers to forecast more accurately how many staff they need to have working at different times.

The new broadband network is based on SDSL technology provided by Cable & Wireless. This gives Vodafone the same data upload and download speeds, unlike the more widely used ADSL links, which have a slower upload speed. ADSL links are in place as a back-up network.

A Vodafone spokeswoman said: “The broadband [network] is simply making sure that the links are quick, so the tills work quickly and staff can access customer information more quickly.”

She explained that this will provide a better experience for customers, because they will be able to purchase a phone, pay a bill or update account information more quickly, while allowing retail staff to do their job more easily.

In addition, the network will carry content for the digital signage system, which is also being provided as a service by Cable & Wireless using existing screens in stores. The spokeswoman explained that this would allow Vodafone to run regional or national promotional campaigns.

This month, for instance, Vodafone is rolling out marketing campaigns across city centres for its new high-speed mobile broadband service. The spokeswoman said that Vodafone will be able to send something similar to stores in those areas so that there is a stronger link between the two sets of messages.

Finally, Vodafone said that it will extend the use of the queue-management system that it has deployed to refurbished stores to the 50 shops that it intends to open in the coming financial year.