Today’s young customers are changing telco forever. Having mastered technology since birth, it’s no surprise they are bringing new digital expectations to how they shop.
These young customers live in a connected, instantaneous world. They can buy pretty much whatever they want, whenever they want it – and have it shipped to their house the next day.
Except, of course, if it’s a cellular device. Even though they’re buying the most advanced technology in the world, they are still forced to buy it at a physical store. This generation is used to being in control of their retail experience; telcos that give their customers this flexibility will come out on top.
Fortunately, telcos are starting to realize just how important it is to extend their reach beyond bricks and mortar. The hottest topic in telco right now is digital transformation. It’s a broad term that has many implications, but for retail specifically, it’s about using connected commerce systems that extend the ability to sell into retail channels beyond the physical store, so customers can be served in new ways.
This philosophy is what we at Maplewave like to call Transact-Anywhere.
Transact-Anywhere is simple. It gives customers the ability to transact and interact with the telco at anytime, from anywhere – and receive a consistent experience in each channel. The most important channels include online & apps, kiosks, field sales, and in-store.
Online & Apps
When telco systems are connected, it means customers can enjoy a complete shopping experience through the internet and self-care apps. They will be able to see current inventory levels, device features, recommended add-ons, and more. If they already have a device, they will be able to view and modify their current plan and add-ons. If a purchase is made, the device and SIM are delivered to their home. A new offer is available? Now this ad can be sent directly to the customer’s device.
These channels bring the complete telco store experience to the customer – but deliver it in the online world. This is especially important for the newest generations of customers. They are used to shopping online, and these channels give them an experience that resonates strongly.
For telcos that use kiosks, their kiosk staff will now have access to the same information and tools as the regular store, making “pop-up shops” highly effective. This will open up many opportunities for telcos; they will be able quickly set up presences in areas that may be underserved, or at time-limited events.
This offers telcos increased flexibility and allows them to go where their customers are.
Field sales are also transformed. Typically, field sales agents are burdened by paper processes, and have no connection to real-time information. Because they have no inventory visibility, they are forced to sell a limited set of products that they carry with them. With the power of a traditional store in a small package, your field sales team can deliver the same efficient experience in any environment.
This flexibility allows them to offer a full product set without having to carry inventory; they simply schedule home deliveries of products.
Even your most progressive customers still want the ability to interact with the items they buy. Telcos need to create an in-store experience that’s as efficient as shopping online, with the added benefit of personal interaction.
That said, customers will no longer settle for the “standard” retail experience. They expect their visit to be personal, fast and efficient, with dedicated areas that help them get in and out quickly. They expect stores to leverage digital technologies, like queuing, digital contracts and interactive exhibits.
Telcos that can offer this experience and make their stores a compelling place to shop, will win the hearts and minds of their youngest customers.
Maplewave’s Digital Platform
Telcos need an integrated platform that can provide a true Transact-Anywhere experience. That is what we do at Maplewave.
Our end-to-end, integrated platform has been designed to work in all channels, including in-store, online, kiosks, door-to-door, and more. This ensures that no matter the channel, customers and sales reps have access to the same tools and information as they would in-store, allowing the customer to be served on their terms.
Our platform also improves the in-store experience. With technologies like queuing, digital contracts and others, customers receive the most efficient experience possible and move through the store quickly. Because our platform is integrated, there are no bottlenecks or duplicate entry requirements that can slow the process, ensuring customers don’t spend their time waiting for the transaction to be processed.
And because systems are connected throughout the customer journey, it’s now possible to collect data and use it to build a complete picture of the customer. Telcos can leverage this data to build personal offers and recommendations that resonate, resulting in increased sales. This is especially important for young customers, as they seek out personalized experiences and spend money with retailers who provide them.
The expectations of telco’s youngest customers are going change the industry forever. By pursuing digital transformation now, telcos can start curating the all-channels experience that resonates with upcoming generations.
If you would like more information on our Transact-Anywhere approach, or how you can meet the expectations future customers, contact Maplewave today at www.maplewave.com.