How to Delight Customers with Store Design and Staff Training

The store environment plays a key supporting role in the customer experience. Looking for every possible advantage, telcos are updating their store designs, carefully tweaking layout, lighting, décor, device displays - even adding a faint fragrance. The goal is to create a pleasing environment that naturally guides customers through different journeys, leading to increased profits and a memorable experience.

No two store visits are the same. That’s why a great store design has designated areas to accommodate different types of transactions.

But even the best designed stores are a wasted investment if telcos neglect to do one thing: train their staff how to use this environment to its full potential.

Here are the 4 most common transaction types, and how to train your staff to use the store environment to best complete them.

Quick Bill Payments

Anyone who has visited a telco store will be familiar with this scene: a long lineup of customers waiting to be served at the counter, with many growing increasingly impatient as they just want to pay their bill.  

It makes no sense to ask customers with quick transactions to wait in the same line as those with more complex concerns. That’s where kiosks are extremely valuable. This technology lets customers quickly serve themselves, eliminating lineups and reducing frustration.

By recognizing bill payees and directing them to kiosks, staff can markedly improve the customer experience.

Train your staff how to:

  • Approach customers and find out their reason for visiting.
  • Properly recommend the use of kiosks.
  • Accompany and cordially pass-off the customer – not just pointing “it’s over there”.
  • Help less tech-savvy customers use the kiosk.

Longer Transactions

Some transactions take longer to complete, such as the purchase of a new device. These longer transactions touch many parts of the store. Good store designs incorporate dedicated areas for each step of the process to streamline the process.

For example, the sales associate might engage the customer on the floor, take them to a different part of the store to demonstrate different devices, and then finish the transaction in a semi- private area.

Dedicated areas for device demonstration are key; this helps associates easily present different options and allow the customer to fully experience the products.

The “checkout” area is just as important. Common strategies are to use partitioned counters, mini work pods, or private booths. Regardless of the design, the goal is to offer some amount of privacy help customers feel secure and keep lineups from clogging up other areas of the store.

Train your staff how to:

  • Navigate different areas of the floor during the sale.
  • Effectively use the device demonstration area.
  • Use semi-private areas to set the customer at ease.

Technical Issues

Broken devices, software problems and “how do I…” questions are common reasons for a store visit. These customers can’t always get help from the first associate they see – they need to speak with specially trained staff.  

A dedicated service area is a must, as is clear signage and unique uniforms. This way, it will be clear who the customer needs to talk to.

Train your staff how to:

  • Greet customers and find out their reason for visiting.
  • Accompany and cordially handoff the customer – no pointing.
  • Receive handoffs back from technical staff – their solution may be an upgrade, after all!

Appointments

Appointments are a common occurrence in the modern telco store. Using their self-service app, customers can pre-book times for service or advice, which speeds up their visit and reduces unnecessary waiting.

But this convenient experience isn’t so handy if the customer isn’t sure where to go when they arrive (wandering aimlessly negates the point of pre-booking, doesn’t it?).

A dedicated, labeled appointment area is crucial. Customers will know where they need to go and ensure they make their appointment on time.

Train your staff how to:

  • Recognize customers who seem ‘lost’ and direct them if needed.
  • Use tools to help look up appointment times.

Putting It Together

Customer journeys aren’t linear; they involve many different areas of the store, and several different sales associates might help with the transaction. Above all, it’s important that staff know how each area of the store operates, and how to work with their other staff members throughout the course of the sale.

The following scenario depicts a common interaction that involves several staff members and different areas of the store:

A customer visits a telco store to pay their phone bill. As they walk into the store, they are greeted by Sales Associate A who takes their information and directs them to the area of the store where they can make a payment. The customer has the choice of making a kiosk payment or going to the counter.

Sales Associate A also mentions that according to his tablet, the customer is due for an upgrade, and if they’re interested, they can see Sales Associate B in a booth in the corner. The customer is intrigued by the offer and chooses the counter option to learn more.

Sales Associate B is waiting for the customer in the booth. They have already pulled the customer’s information up on their tablet and greet them by name. They start asking questions about how they use their device, what they like and don’t like, what features they want in a device, etc.

After conversing with the customer and gaining some valuable information, Sales Associate B leads the customer to the device bar and presents the customer with three devices they think the customer would like. Sales Associate B performs a demo on the devices and helps the customer choose the best device for them.

While the customer signs their contract and pays the phone bill they originally came in for back at the booth, another staff member sets up the phone and installs a self-care app on the device for the customer at the tech and repair counter.

The staff member brings the device to the booth when it’s ready. The customer leaves the store with their new phone, feeling happy with their decision to visit the store.

In this example, we can see the different touchpoints in the customer journey and how the store environment and employees accommodated the journey to ensure the best outcome for the customer and the business, which resulted in an upsell.

Training is crucial to creating an ideal customer experience. Without skilled sales associates who know how to use the retail environment to move the customer along in their journey, customers are left to wander around - and walk out.  

Too many sales associated do not have the tools in their retail environment or the skills necessary to handle a sale from start to finish.  

For telcos who want to align their journeys, store design and customer experience, start identifying your store’s pain points, key customer touchpoints, and essential areas of your store. Think about how your people and environment come together. You’d be surprised how even the subtlest change can improve your environment and maximize opportunities.

If you want to learn more about bringing the elements of your store together and how employee training impacts customer journeys, download our whitepaper “How To Create Outstanding Telco Salespeople” and discover what customers expect from their retail experience, why the telco store experience falls short, the characteristics of an outstanding telco salesperson and how to develop a successful retail training strategy.

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