Customer-related Matters and Product Responsibility

Management Approach

Materiality, Impact, and Risks

  • GRI 103-1

As an internet and telecommunications provider, we operate in an extremely dynamic market environment. The United Internet Group’s success is based on its core competency: the ability to identify and systematically tap into customer wishes, trends, and hence new markets at an early stage. Our existing business relationships with millions of customers and users mean we have our ear close to the ground. In addition, our in-house product development capability, highly flexible approach, and strong marketing and sales operations help us to launch market innovations independently – and often more quickly than other players.

We focus on our customers in everything we think and do, and aim to provide compelling products and services.

Our relationships with our customers are based on trust. Data protection, information security, and round-the-clock access to highly skilled contact staff make us a reliable partner at all times. The reason is simple: customer satisfaction is a unique selling proposition on the market and hence a core component of our competitive ability and long-term success. This is why we give the continuous assessment and management of customer satisfaction an extremely high priority – not only is it important to our customers, but it is also relevant to our investors and employees.

Potential risks in connection with customer satisfaction and the sales market include the need to make any adjustments to our business model or our pricing policy (political or legal risks). In addition, new developments might hit the market too late, or might not find the expected acceptance among the intended target group. Equally, new competitors entering the market could pose a risk to our market share, growth objectives, or margins (technology, market, or reputational risks). What is more, United Internet occasionally enters upstream or downstream markets when diversifying its business model or expanding its value chain. One example is its purchase at auction of mobile frequencies during 2019 and its plans to build its own 5G mobile network.

Goals and Measures

  • GRI 103-2

The purpose of our management approach is to focus on our customers in everything we think and do, and to provide them with compelling products and services. By doing this, we aim to systematically and permanently increase customer satisfaction.

United Internet manages more than 65 million customer accounts worldwide. Since customers in the different segments have different requirements, customer satisfaction is measured using segment-specific metrics and performance indicators (such as the customer sentiment score and net promoter score (NPS)), and is managed by dedicated teams using specifically tailored structures and processes. We use regular customer surveys, market research, and analyses to obtain customer feedback. Our customer satisfaction figures are used in our executives’ performance reviews and variable compensation components. What is more, the responsible segment board members are regularly and deeply involved in this issue. They generally report directly to the CEO of United Internet AG or the other company they work for.

In addition, customer service is extremely important to us. This function is not only strongly represented within the organization itself, but is also supported by more than 4,000 external service agents who assist in customer care.

Other customer-related matters apart from customer satisfaction include health questions relating to mobile frequencies and youth protection. Details of these can be found in this chapter.

Results and Assessment

  • GRI 103-3

Please see the following sections on the individual segments for details of how we measure and manage customer satisfaction and other customer topics.

Contribution to the SDGs

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.