9/17/2009 12:33:00 PM
Is there substance behind Phones 4u’s new style?
Phones 4u has recognised the need to move with the times. It is refreshing the look and content of its 450 stores to make them more modern and interactive, with demonstration areas and stock cabinets displaying the full range of handsets.
To its credit, Phones 4u’s method of sitting a customer down at a desk and taking them through a lengthy questionnaire to pinpoint their exact needs has much to recommend it. But in terms of presentation, this hardly reflects the shiny, cutting edge world of modern communications.
Carphone Warehouse has already recognised this and its Wireless World stores have moved away from its old, counter-based staff look to a much more modern, open feel with a wide range of products for customers to try out. This all makes good business sense, but of course there is more to it than that. Price is, and always will be, a major factor for consumers. The range of handsets and contract offers is another.
But what operators and retailers want above all else is customer loyalty. How do you keep the customer coming back to your store, or your service offering? That very largely comes down to customer service and the ‘experience’ the customer has at the point of sale, be it in a store, online or with a help desk.
This is where the real battle for customer loyalty is fought. And as all the players struggle to lower prices any further in an already cut-throat environment, the customer service ‘experience’ is going to be the real determining factor in establishing customer loyalty.
Phones 4u has an advantage here in that it is able to give customers an independent view of a broad range of options. But to succeed, alongside its competitive deals and shiny stores, it will need polished customer services to match.