Our mystery shoppers found great variation in the quality of the retail customer experience. A large number of retail stores did not stock the full range of prepaid offerings, and micro and nano SIMs - commonly used in today’s smartphones - were often unavailable.
Equally, the way retail stores handled customers varied, especially when customers had to wait. The best practice was to have a concierge to greet customers, gather their information and allow them to browse products. Other stores used tablets to complete the sales purchase, eliminating the use of a terminal or cashier. The worst practice was to provide minimal in-store guidance together with minimal accessible product information and long customer queues.
“In the US market, particularly in New York City, we experienced retail stores leveraging tablets, not only to manage the queue, but to identify high value customers and provide a differentiated customer experience based on other services purchased from the carrier.”- Ryan McCumber, Associate Director, KPMG in Australia
Customers cannot distinguish between operator-owned branded stores and those run by franchisees or licensees, so consistency of customer experience is vital. For operators, maintaining control over the customer experience is now the focus, and in some countries operators are buying back licensed and franchised outlets in order to increase control.
The first and final moments of a customer’s retail store visit are often crucial to their overall experience and so KPMG International recommends that all stores use a concierge to provide a warm welcome, and to have sales staff activate the SIM and provide full information on top-up options, before the customer leaves the store.