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Mobile Retail Special 310316

Retail Special The BT takeover will build on what we’ve already started. We’re already becoming very skilled and confident in talking to customers about their full connected needs and their full connected life Steve Lavery, head of customer experience insights, EE Retail staff’s VR view A major factor in the success or failure of virtual reality products in mobile phone retailers will be the staff’s approach to selling them. With an infl ux of devices about to land in the UK market, online mobile phone retail community iSellMobile decided to fi nd out what retail staff’s attitudes were to VR products. Perhaps understandably, the training gap with virtual reality products is found largely in stores where the products are not sold. That said, nearly 30% of the staff in the stores that do sell VR were also untrained. There is also the strong possibility that in stores where the products are not sold directly, customers will still come in requiring assistance with issues relating to VR devices. Brands such as Samsung are looking to drive their VR business alongside the sale of products such as the Galaxy S7. This will make the level of understanding of the product segment even more important going forward. Signifi cantly, when it comes to consumer interest in the devices, staff expectations tend to exceed the level of interest from consumers. This is not necessarily a negative thing, but does act as a warning to anyone expecting an explosion in consumer interest in the product category. It’s important to consider too that VR works far better in demonstration, and with the aid of on enthusiastic employee a consumer can be more enthused by the product. How interested are customers in VR vs How interested retail staff think customers are in VR Mobile Choice VR Consumer Survey March 2016 iSellMobile Member VR Survey March 2016 Percentage of staff in stores that don’t stock VR devices who have received training, information or advice on VR products Percentage of staff in stores that stock VR devices who have received training, information or advice on VR products wanting to make a difference. We want to be everyone’s favourite store on the high street.’ Selling services The concepts that mobile phone retailers need to communicate to the consumer continue to become broader and more complex. In the past couple of years, EE and Vodafone have both starting selling broadband in stores, while Carphone Warehouse’s merger with Dixons Retail has seen the breadth of additional services sky-rocket. Television is also poised to be another battleground for mobile retailers. EE already sells a TV service in-store and the cross-selling of services will only increase following BT’s acquisition of the mobile brand. Vodafone is also poised to launch a TV offering, while Carphone Warehouse is looking to increase the number of different services it sells, particularly in its larger stores. Vodafone’s Jon Shaw has been keen to ensure that his staff are well prepared for this new type of sale and can introduce these adjacent products in the right way. He says: ‘We carry out special training so our staff are ready to talk about the product and its unique features. We also work with our staff to make sure that when they talk about it, customers don’t feel that they are getting a hard sell. It comes down to thinking about how, over the course of a conversation, we can talk about broadband. Going forward that will also help staff fi t in a TV question, once the service launches.’ EE’s Steve Lavery says that the operator’s new owner’s range of services will allow it to build further on the service selling methods it already employs: ‘The BT takeover will build on what we’ve already started. We’re already becoming very skilled and confi dent in talking to customers about their full connected needs and their full connected life. This can hopefully add more exciting products and services for us to sell. ‘It’s easier to make a single purchase on a handset so we’ve had to change the way we speak to our people and speak to customers. It’s all geared around the EE way, which starts with understanding customers’ connected needs. It’s not product led, not price led it’s customer led. It’s far more about understanding customer needs rather than device needs. The new stores have helped with this type of sale – there’s greater transparency that comes with sitting side by side with customers when dealing with them.’ www.mobiletoday.co.uk 31 March 2016 mobile 13


Mobile Retail Special 310316
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