Vodafone wanted to update its retail experience to keep up with the changing needs of its customers and the increased complexity of smartphone technology. It also wanted to present a consistent, branded customer experience across all of its 15,000 plus stores worldwide.
Vodafone’s research indicated that customers wanted to be able to explore devices easily and play with live versions in store, feel reassured that they were buying the right product and leave the store with a phone that was set up and ready to use. The company formulated a strategy for a retail transformation project that would be rolled out in thousands of stores across 23 countries, but it was clear that there was a need to develop the retail staff as well as the stores themselves.
Vodafone executives recognized the increased value it could provide if staff engaged more with consumers directly in the stores as trusted advisors during three basic lifecycle touchpoints: research, purchase, and use. Store employees could help subscribers navigate the complex industry, explaining device and plan differences and allowing them to test products and ask questions during the purchase process. They could also reassure customers that there is someone to turn to for post-sales support. In addition, the actual store layout needed to change to improve the flow of customers. And new tools were needed to streamline the experience, including an online appointment booking system for customers planning to visit the store, back-end systems for workforce and visual merchandise management, and mobile payment mechanisms. The brand wanted to nurture employee mindset to bring its vision to life. Vodafone partnered with us to equip all its front-line retail workers with the knowledge and confidence necessary to deliver this upgraded in-store experience.
Store managers, greeters, and sales advisors were trained on new customer service skills, how to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses, and build the confidence necessary to deliver exceptional levels of service in both good times and in bad. Staff members also familiarized themselves with Vodafone’s new customer-centric retail vision while learning how to build rapport and understand each consumer’s core needs.
Vodafone rolled out its comprehensive initiative to nearly 5,000 employees in more than 17 countries. As a result, staff engagement and motivation increased, and the program led to real impact with customers—Net Promoter Score grew by 22 percent in the three months after implementation.
Because mindset holds the key to delivering effective culture change and driving more customer service-oriented behaviors in-store, Vodafone plans to roll out training to its remaining markets and sustain learning by creating an online tool to ensure all employees maintain this new vision.