Carphone Warehouse’s CEO Graham Stapleton (pictured) has told Mobile that the retailer is spending big to ensure that its staff are ready for the prospect of a multi play selling environment.
‘There has never been this scale of need to really train colleagues’ he said, ‘so we’ve acquired a massive training centre in the Midlands, which we are just finishing kitting out with all the manufacturers and networks – we spent several million on that. All of the people that join Carphone Warehouse will go through that training centre on a very structured set of requirements and will get a pass or a fail depending on how they do. We’ll also do refresher training through that centre so everybody gets the same consistent level of training wherever they fall in the country. We’ve then got a lot more going with e-learning and then of course we’ve got Pin point.’
Stapleton explained that opportunities open to the brand from a multi play sales perspective were a big driver in Carphone Warehouse’s investment in training staff and its electronic digital selling tool ‘Pin point’: ‘That’s why we’re spending so much money on training, on digital selling tools, and why we will be putting this on national television. We’re confident now that we’ve got it right, and we’ll be spending a lot of money on a TV campaign that will start in May/June.
‘I would estimate that by the end of the year we would have invested more than £20m on our digital-assisted selling journey [Pin point] and the tablets in stores to do it. So I would imagine that the whole training piece will come to around £25-30m over 24 months, it’s on that scale. It’s a different world now, [smartphones] are small computers and everyone’s lives are on them.’
Stapleton also revealed details about Carphone’s upcoming MVNO on the Three network: ‘The launch of our MVNO will be made more public in the next three or four weeks and we’ll put a lot more detail out there, including the name of the brand. The market is a big one as we all know, but I think there are opportunities to do things better for customers in the way that they are connected and services that are offered.
‘Customer’s habits have changed from when some of the older networks set up shop. What we’ve tried to do with the new MVNO is to serve the very latest needs that the customers have and build the network services around those needs. That’s what will make this MVNO most relevant – it’s based on how customers want to behave now and not how they acted historically.
‘I think that there will continually be the opportunity for MVNOs to reinvent the market because traditionally they’re smaller and more agile. It’s a lot more difficult when you’re a network that’s invested significantly in infrastructure or on a massive billing systems with tens of millions of customers to bring in brand new ways of connecting customers and billing them. So there’s an opportunity there.’