The heads of all the major mobile retailers sent out rallying messages this week for one of their number to triumph at Shop Idol in 2009.
It signalled just how seriously senior executives are taking the competition, which demonstrates excellence in mobile retail.
Companies revealed how closely watched Shop Idol will be this year, and how previous finalists have had their careers fast-tracked.
Entries are now being welcomed for the ‘Challengers’ stage of the competition, to take on the company representatives – ‘Chosen Ones’ – who are currently being mystery shopped. The first batch of mystery shop videos started appearing on the Shop Idol website this week – www.mobiletoday.co.uk/shopidol.
Several Challengers last year were unknown heroes, who quickly made a name for themselves in their companies and in the industry.
Sales people in mobile retail can also win weekly and monthly prizes, simply by registering on the site and voting for those people taking part.
To sign up, go to the Shop Idol website www.mobiletoday.co.uk/shopidol
Here is what the bosses think:
Brendan Sweeney – Managing director, Phones 4u
‘Shop Idol has been a fantastic competition for Phones 4u and the whole of the mobile industry in the past. It’s great to see a competition shine a light on the most talented people in mobile retail. We’ve had a lot of success in the past with the likes of ‘Pistol’ Pete Stuart, Wilson Cheng and Jamie Brownlee, and are immensely proud of their achievements.’
Sian Doyle –Head of retail, Orange
‘Improving customer experience with Orange Retail is extremely important to us, and Shop Idol is a great way to put our skills to the test. We are looking forward to seeing how this highly contested battle shapes up.’
Terry O’Brien –Head of retail, Vodafone
‘We very much enjoy taking part in Shop Idol each year and we always aim to win. We have some amazing people in our Vodafone Retail team, who deliver a brilliant customer service each and every day, and I’m personally very proud of them. The great thing about Shop Idol is it gives them a platform to shine across our industry.’
Steve Blan – Head of retail, Carphone Warehouse
‘Shop Idol gives us the opportunity to benchmark our representatives against others in the industry, and I’m really looking forward to seeing our team members compete against the best in class. Our customer vision is to be “the number one choice on the high street”. To achieve this we need to employ and retain people who are passionate about delivering world-class customer service.’
Stephen Shurrock – Consumer sales director, O2
‘We recently launched a programme to develop our retail stores. Taking part in Shop Idol fits extremely well. It is really important to showcase high standards across the industry, and highlight exceptional service in mobile retail. We will be encouraging our retail staff to take part and hope to progress in the competition this year.’
Ian Parpworth – Head of retail, 3
‘Developing and celebrating the great people in our retail business is more important now than ever. Shop Idol recognises excellence in retail. Since Jonathan Sandford won Shop Idol in 2007 he has moved to the key role of retail project manager, where he can share his skills and ideas with a much wider audience. We hope to see more people from 3 taking part and hopefully progressing in Shop Idol this year.’
Andrew Coull – Head of retail, T-Mobile
‘T-Mobile has had a number of our top people recognised in the final stages of Shop Idol in previous years, and we hope this year even more of our great retail staff take part and progress through the competition.
‘Tara Bradley performed brilliantly in 2007 and last year both Dave
Battman and Kim Hinson were both excellent in representing the company. Shop Idol is a great competition, underlining the most talented individuals in mobile retail.’