Telco Retailers – Are your Systems Holding You Back?
“Customer experience is king in today’s subscription economy.”
Most of us are familiar with the ubiquitous Amazon shopping experience – search, click, find, compare, review, learn, checkout, receive. The shopping process is FAST and easy. Now, Amazon has taken that ethos into retail with Amazon Go, the much talked about “checkout-free” retail store.
Compare that customer experience to the average Telecom, one of the most maligned industries on the planet, and whose retail stores do not measure up to the amazing entertainment possible with their products!
- One Telco we encountered took 85 screens and 45 minutes to sell & provision a new post-paid mobile line!
- Some Telco’s claim to have a tablet POS experience, but in practice they are often slow, clunky and not integrated with other systems – typically, the transaction is still finished at a physical sales pod.
- Another had 3-hour wait times on month-end days as the store was so clogged with bill payments. Their in-store environment was holding them back, and quick and easy transactions were not possible with their current IT stack.
Why the problem?
One word – Billing. Built off of a 1990’s infrastructure, the primary purpose of these systems was to track the usage and spend of both pre- and post-paid customers. Some Telco’s used this system as their retail point of sale, creating a slow, paper-bound environment which meant every transaction took longer than necessary. Many are still reliant on these legacy systems as they feel they cannot move away from them.
The ability to modernize and move away from these systems exists, yet a lot of Telco’s have failed to invest, instead continuing to pursue perennial device upgrades and a growing customer base not above 100% population penetration. In short, they have rested on their laurels.
Conversely, some Telco’s have realized the need to create a fully immersive in-store experience, and have invested in state-of-the-art Retail Management Systems. As a result, transaction times fell, and the theatre and education made possible from the “freeing up” of staff became a reality; the Holy Trinity of Sales, Retention AND Customer Experience grew and grew.
How does your store compare? Take this quick quiz to see how you stack up:
1. Are your Post Pay / Fixed Line / Cable transaction times less than 15 minutes?
2. Are you able to process a pre-paid transaction in less than 5 minutes?
3. Do you have a paperless signing system?
4. Do you have a digital storage vault?
5. Do you have an express checkout zone for very quick transactions?
6. Are repeat and historic transactions shown for each customer?
7. Can you review inventory levels across the entire estate, and allow stores to view other store’s stock levels?
8. Can you control a full accessories program, and does the system suggest compatible accessories, leading to an upsell on every sale?
9. Do you have a single Analytics / BI tool giving you one version of the KPI truth?
10. Can you perform transactions away from a fixed-terminal using a tablet?
11. Does your system suggest products based on history AND availability?
12. Does your store have an integrated Queue System, controlling footfall?
13. Is your Retail NPS above +40 or more?
14. Have you eliminated wait times due to your Concierge & Queue System working in harmony?
15. Are you able to view your customer’s details, history and loyalty rewards, making your interaction personal to them?
SCORE: >12 Well Done! <12 Work to Do! <10 Oh Dear Oh Dear!
The Business Case
A good Retail Management System will pay for itself. Here are a few of the obvious business cases:
Increased Transaction Speed = Less FTE Required
1. We saved 1 operator $3M per year, reduced their headcount by 15% and cut transaction times in HALF!
Improved Inventory Control = Less Aged Stock
2. We once visited a remote retail location that had 10 x BlackBerry Q10 devices (in 2015) and NO-ONE KNEW ABOUT IT. They had never sold one! Once we implemented the right systems, we saved them $MILLIONS.
3. Improved Inventory Control = Better Availability
4. Having the right stock in the right place at the right time = increased conversion, higher sales and ultimately, PROFIT.
5. Attachment Rate of Accessories = Huge Untapped Profit & Return Customers
Customers dig accessories. The profit is there, but most Telco’s shy away as the category is fragmented and hard to manage. Not with the right RMS system!
As one of the premier RMS providers for the Telco industry, Maplewave’s products have been purpose-built to solve industry-specific needs and business cases:
Transact: Maplewave has a best-in-class RMS system which integrates into current OSS/BSS and billing stacks. Transact gives front-line staff a FAST walled-garden experience. With a single view of the customer, Transact provides a “unified view of the truth” by leveraging its recommendation engines, superb inventory control and a back-end analytics tool that can use even 3rd party inputs (such as footfall). Transact has un-paralleled controls in terms of Commissioning, HR Time and Attendance, Vendor Spiff Management and a plethora of key critical control elements. These are integrated all the way through the supply chain, offering end-to-end visibility and reporting.
Paperless: This fast, secure digital signing and storage product means paper is a thing of the past. When integrated with Transact, this results in a superb experience.
Transact (Mobile): Harness the power of Transact on a tablet to transact whenever and wherever the customer wants/needs to. Being freed from a desk makes this mobile solution ideal for in-store advisors, door-to-door channels and roving sales reps or demo teams.
Engage: Our proprietary “mobile experience” solution and a customer experience winner. Engage has many features for the Telco store of the future, including an integrated queue system and lightning-fast order build tool. Engage is linked to the rest of our tools, meaning staff can create new customers or look up existing ones right from the sales floor; this information will sync with Transact. Engage also has visibility to real-time stock levels, meaning you will never again sell a product you don’t have!
Maplewave helps retailers understand how they can provide the best experience for the one thing that matters most: The Customer.
Once you “go all in” with a customer-first model, the benefits are recognized immediately:
1. Transaction times plummet.
2. Freed time means the “out of the box” experience is better – walk out working!
3. Freed time means you can talk to your customer about value-added services and install apps.
4. Stock becomes efficient – You have what you need, when you need it.
5. You get true insight into your performance – a unified version of the truth.
6. You sell more and become more profitable – selling accessories is easy now!
7. At busy times, you can triage customers quickly & efficiently with your tablet.
8. You can pride yourself on giving an experience that no-one else in your market does.
Contact us if you’d like to know more about the steps needed internally to begin a Retail RMS Transformation. We guarantee it will be the best thing you can do to future-proof your business.