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How Mobile Operators Are Reclaiming the High Street

On March 23rd, the UK Government ordered the closure of all shops selling “non-essential goods” which impacted everything from clothing stores to mobile operator retail outlets. With our phones so crucial to both our personal and professional lives, operators have had to continually assess how their service channels and interaction points line up with the ever-changing limitations on mobility. As stores continue to reopen, physical retail outlets will undoubtedly look to combine the best of both worlds for their customers.  

During the closure, operators invested hugely in digital methods of engaging their customers to keep retention and satisfaction as high as possible.

“We’ve got Three Store Now on our website, which allows customers to interact with store staff via online...We trained another 500 retail staff to handle support via webchat and sent laptops to their homes so they were able to support advanced customer enquiries.” Dane Hipkin, Director of Retail, Three. Mobile News, July 21st 2020

These types of initiatives were invaluable in their support of the business during the worst of the lockdown but there’s no question that brick and mortar retail provides significant value, both financially and in terms of serving customer preference. Vodafone’s UK stores attract more than 20 million visits per year and account for the majority of its sales with 70% of pay monthly mobile sales coming from its retail outlets.

“There was always a plan to re-establish a physical presence. We don’t want to reduce our retail estate. If anything, this has shown us how much that customer base relies on a personal and local service – they need face-to-face communication. A lot of customers haven’t migrated to other traditional online channels, but have instead been hankering after retail interaction.” Lee Frankham, Retail Director, EE. Mobile News, July 21st 2020

Moving forwards, it stands to reason that future success will depend on understanding and accommodating the various touch points a customer has with their mobile brand. Many customers, up to 88% according to some studies, research the product they want before buying online or visiting a physical store to ask follow up questions and complete their purchase journey.

For operator retail locations, strong mobile connection is essential not just for the robust support of new digital engagement initiatives, but also to maximise sales conversions and keep their customers happy. Considering the product is dependent on being connected, retail locations need strong service to ensure they can get their customers enjoying their new products as quickly as possible.

Metricell’s Beacons are cost-efficient, autonomous devices which test mobile service 24/7 in any location of interest. Customised for the data store owners and retail managers need to gain, these units will test a range of common activities (such as web browsing, streaming and call quality) with the performance information accessible in real-time though our user friendly web interfaces.

Get in touch today and we’ll send you more information on how Beacons are creating the insight retailers need to support the next generation of shoppers.  

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References  
- 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people – Esteban Kolsky
- 1 in 3 customers will leave a brand they love after just one bad experience while 92% would completely abandon a company after 2/3 negative interactions
-  PwC 40% of consumers now prefer self-service over human contact – Steven Van Belleghem  

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