Rob Roy, chief digital officer at Sprint, revealed the operator is preparing updates to its retail strategy and distribution options as part of its broader digital transformation efforts.

The executive told Mobile World Live the future developments are the result of the work of an internal working group named Hive, which Sprint established to drive its conversion strategy.

Hive is composed of a core team of around 125 experts with a variety of specialties including product management, digital marketing, artificial intelligence (AI) and data science. The group collaborates with a variety of smaller teams from departments across the company to develop methods to automate processes and products.

The group’s work spans initiatives across retail; marketing; human resources; logistics; operations; and customer care, Roy said. Each collaboration lasts for around two-to-three months, with the small department teams heading back to their regular duties after a project wraps up.

Roy said the goal of Hive isn’t so much to reduce costs as it is to create a better customer experience and streamline operations, but acknowledged savings are a welcome by-product of increased digitisation.

Customer experience
The group has already delivered improvements to Sprint’s customer care, by integrating AI and machine learning into the customer service process.

In collaboration with customer care representatives, Hive determined the steps chatbots should take to serve customers and the language they should use. Roy said the goal of the project was to “make sure the digital customer service experiences we create are as good as customers get with a real representative”.

Roy also talked up Hive’s role in boosting the customer experience for those purchasing new devices, delivering early access to new iPhone models launched in September.