We are working on a proposal to transform the retail experience in a converged telecom operator and we would like to understand what are the key retail trends expected. This should cover shop experience, customer experience, services, technologies and layouts.
Hi Eusebi, all the best to you and you’re team on the transformation journey .Organizational design is best describe as getting the right organizational culture for your people and for your customer. Many organizations are of the view that centralization is the best strategy and in a highly competitive space I will list the problems with centralization. Organizations that have grown in size must understand the importance of employee empowerment in the value chain because it impacts directly on customer service and ultimately revenue.Roles and responsibilities must be aligned with key objectives and must support the overall vision of the organization . Decisions and delegation of authority is the key in taking advantages of a more informed customer and is often the reason why Net promoter score is a more advance measure for diagnostics internally then externally for customer analytics.If you have disgruntled employees that are front facing and support staff who are frustrated as result of structural issues such as old technology and poor IT infrastructure you are in for a some long nights.In my view its important to understand the organizational culture and the existing barriers to communication ,why does it take 14 days to resolve a query .Is the challenge staffing ,skills or systems .From there it becomes more clear to plot the solutions and ultimately determine the cost and opportunity that will arise from adopting changes.Change Management is crucial and in my line of business i have come to respect that even the simple task’s can become time consuming because moral , commitment and motivation is down.My advise is start by conducting a culture survey with all key role players in the organization from HR and Finance to Sales and Distribution. Often we are ignoring a key aspect to organizational alignment people . Do you have the right people in the right jobs . Have some of your activities become redundant.What are you skills gaps and where can you introduce new training .All the best with the journey .
Thanks George for your reply.
The transformation of the point of sales and retail experience will certainly have to deal with the structural capabilities and attitudes that you are rightly pointing out.
However, at this stage we are focusing on the concept of what should this retail experience be. For this reason, I need to get the view of specific samples, cases, experiences that deal with innovative point of sale experience for a Telco. In other words, I need a future or best practice view of what a Telco operator can be or become in the future in regards to POS experience.
I wish you all the best with your project. Find below some ideas that may be helpful:
Shop experience: Make sure the shop experience is fully connected throughout the entire customer journey. Specially for your customer base. The store experience does not have to start (or end) when the customer shows-up at the store. Therefore, link it to the digital experience at your website (e.g. purchase process not completed when further assistance is required) or app (e.g. incidence tickect open from there). Omnichannel is a must.
Customer experience: Avoid queing. Customers do not want to waste time. And become relevant for them. Your sales advisors must be subject matter experts and able to address/solve their issues/questions.
Understand why your customers go to the store and whether they are prospect or active customers. Identify main reasons of the visit (e.g. Commercial activity vs topics related to the service you are currently providing to them, aftersales, etc.). Create specific experiences/journeys at the store depending on the reason for the visit.
Services: This point is key. Identify immediate services to be provided (e.g. top-ups) as well as services to avoid typical pain points as aftersales immediate repair centre. Other ideas maybe to provide appointment booking to avoid queues.
Technologies: Telco is about technology. Provide the latest, cutting edge items for the customers to interact with them.
Layouts: Open space, flexible environment for the customer to be attended wherever he wants. Always on mobility.
Dear Albert, thanks a lot for your replies they are very useful.
In our proposal we would need to add possible case studies or references from other industries that can be transported to Telecom. The purpose of this proposal is also to illustrate what a future vision could be like in terms of services and experience.
Your points are very valid and I believe that we will need to break them down and get into the specifics.
Visual display of devices and availability of live devices is becoming a big trend in South Africa as it starts to adopt global retail practices .Important to understand is that you lay out and design should appeal to your ideal customer. Good light and visible branding if you are going to deal with well known brands they can provide you with sales data of what has work in markets and what has not. View the shop floor as the first step to the shop experience, user friendly entry points ,no clutter and easy seating ass well as automated queuing. Also ensure that display cabinets are clearly marked , accessories one side and chargers one side .Most of all have fun with the design . All the best
I will give you a specific example that I think it is differential: O2 Gurus.
This is an omnichannel “concept” that O2 launched some years ago and that was also extended to other Telefonica’ OpCos and pretty successful.
You may find the Guru in O2 stores. They are not the typical sales reps, but tech-savvy guys with very friendly attitude that are in the shops to help customers, but also non-customers. Many of the support activities are related to devices: configuration, moving contacts when users change of device, teaching them, etc. It is possible to schedule meetings with gurus.
They help increase the level of knowledge of the rest of sales reps. The stores where there are gurus sell more and have higher customer satisfaction.
O2 UK have recorded and uploaded hundreds of videos to specific OS Guru Channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/O2GuruTV) with Gurus as main actors about the most frequent questions in the call center and other channels, what also help offload the number of calls to these points of contact (savings).
As devices are key element in the guru strategy, the large phone manufacturers, apple, samsung…, subsidize this program with money, also providing phones to gurus and organizing specific training events with gurus.
Gurus have a internal channel of communication where they share questions and experiences, so if any guru has a customer with a difficult issue in front of him/her, he can quickly ask and get immediate feedback.
They also have social media accounts and I think also Gurus at contact center.
Is this profitable or not? This is not easy to make the business case, I heard say to some O2 colleagues: “you have to believe”, but what it is clear is that most KPIs had a very positive impact.
I was responsible for exchanging best practices in Telefonica when gurus came up, and I managed to extend this initiative to other OpCos. E.g. Vivo Guru in Vivo Brazil
This is just a summary. I hope this can help you
Dear Juan, thanks for your reply. I think this is a great example of personalised and friendly support across channels.
Are they any metrics that illustrate customer satisfaction or engagement to these Gurus? Do they also participate in any up-selling or cross-selling activities?
I might have to come back to you directly for more details.
Hi Eusebi, I left Telefonica in 2014 and I don´t keep documents nor data as you may well understand. I saw some of these metrics at this time.
By definition, Gurus never should be seen as sales reps. This would undermine its essence. But in the end, providing this excellent service resulted in more sales, without any doubt. However these sales were processed by their non-gurus colleagues in the store. This was a subtle way of selling but I can guarantee that shops with gurus made more cross and up-selling.
If you need maybe we can identify someone in Tefefonica/O2 that can udpate us and provide some KPIs
Absolutely. Thanks Juan.
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