It’s no secret that a successful channel strategy is important for telco retailers.
On top of the already complex sales process, telcos need to stay relevant and create frictionless experiences – and this can be tricky!
From picking the right channels, to using the right technology, and providing the right training, these strategies can get complicated - but the return on investment is worth it. It’s time for telcos to optimise and develop channel strategies that drive results and boost the customer experience.
So, what exactly is a channel strategy and why is it important?
A channel strategy is the various ways a business puts products and services in the hands of their customers. Historically, retail channel strategies have focused heavily on brick and mortar environments, but with the rise of digitization, this has changed.
Customers of the 2020s have influenced retail channel strategies for the better, wanting more flexibility and the power to seamlessly jump from channel to channel. In response, we’re seeing retailers across the globe diversify their path-to-purchase by investing in new channels that fit their market needs.
In the telco industry, companies are shifting to a varied physical and digital channel mix. We’ve seen the emergence of giant flagships and microphysical formats, along with digital channels like self-care and online/web. And behind the scenes to ensure these channels work together, telcos have implemented single platform-based solutions.
It’s also important to note that with the outbreak of COVID-19, customer expectations and comfort levels have changed and swayed even more towards digital channels. They want more fluidity between the channels they use and are adopting digital journeys to meet their shopping needs.
When it comes to channel strategies, it’s not “one size fits all”.
Regional and cultural differences have a huge impact on a telco’s channel strategy. Different channels will make sense for different markets. For example:
Today, your options are vast - so vast that a telco channel strategy can leverage up to 20 different channels. These channels can be categorized as, physical, digital, and “phygital” – a hybrid of both physical and digital.
To ensure strategies are effective, telcos need to take into account:
When mapping your telco channel strategy, there are six areas you should consider:
Enhancing your store design and merchandising execution can drive results. The goal here is to create an in-store experience that increases the likelihood to buy. Think about:
The telco industry has long underperformed in the category of customer experience due to several factors. Getting the customer experience right is critical and can be improved with:
Having the right in-store systems and technology is a key element of your overall channel strategy and future success. When building a channel strategy, telcos need to consider:
Staffing is a part of your channel strategy. Telcos need to ensure their staffing levels are adequate to efficiently serve customers. They should:
Training and communication have a huge impact on customer experience. Telcos need to evaluate training programs and strategies by:
Implementing the right commission structure for dealers and employees is essential for driving revenue and profit. Get the following areas right:
Developing a successful channel strategy is crucial for ensuring your company can survive in the changing telco market.
At Maplewave, we help telcos with their channel strategies. Our solutions are built to provide telcos with the flexibility they need to quickly adapt and thrive into the future.
If you are curious about channel strategies or have any questions, reach out to our team or connect with me on LinkedIn.