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Rethinking the customer experience of telco's

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Lots of changes are happening and will continue to occur in the telco sector. The covid pandemic dealt a major blow to many industries however, for the most part, telcos that met the growing demand while delivering great customer service were able to succeed.

Research from Bonacci, 2022 found that total telecoms service revenue worldwide is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.4% between 2021 and 2026.

The New Zealand retail telco market is also forecasted to return growth, according to Venture insights analysis. Although a slow economy, inflation and reduced immigration will take a toll.

In this competitive industry, customers are becoming more selective of the brands they choose, and customer experience touch points are crucial (some telcos have unfortunately picked up a reputation for being a source of frustration).

There has been a lot happening recently in the New Zealand telco space. Vodafone has transitioned to One.NZ and announced a new collaboration with SpaceX to provide a satellite mobile service for greater mobile coverage and 2 Degrees has launched a new ‘Value for the Ages’ campaign in their signature "battle for the people" style.

Looking to overseas telcos is a great way to predict trends and take note of what forward thinking companies are concentrating their efforts on.

British national mobile network operator and internet service provider EE has stepped into the world of experiential retail with its new Westfield London flagship - EE studio.

Check out some images of the store below!

The EE Studio will be the UK's largest telco retail space at 4,230 sq ft and will be home to some pretty epic features including:

Welcome Zone: an inviting and dynamic shopfront with a changeable digital window canvas and a QR that visitors can scan to bring to like a welcome AR experience.

Digital Spa: designed to show customers how they can effectively balance their technology use and a guided meditation in an immersive sensory room.

Gaming Zone: one of the UK's largest dedicated community gaming hubs - with all the best gaming rigs, racing simulators, virtual reality experiences and games and consoles so gamers can test out the best in gaming.

Base Camp: a welcoming area for customers to relax, catch up on emails while enjoying a complimentary hot drink or chat to one of the EE team for advice.

The Stage: a flexible hub for events, pop-ups and interactive programming to introduce people to products, brand collaborations and learning opportunities.

Tech Live: an interactive bench for visitors to test out the latest technology and innovations.

The space contains curated room sets including a living room, smart kitchen, kids bedroom and home office with smart technology features for people to build and visualise their own personalised connected home.

What makes it great:

- it reflects the changing needs of the brand's customers

- the digital spa is a great initiative considering people's over-reliance on technology

- it is a vibrant and original expression of the brand

- the space was developed alongside BT's network for disabled employees to ensure it is accessible

The EE Studio will lead way for the rollout of the new EE Experience stores due to open in Manchester Trafford Centre, Cardiff and Bluewater in the coming months.

In a world where "being connected" is akin to breathing, the litmus test of any truely great telco is seamless service. Having recently been to Europe, I was surprised that every retailer from Zara to &otherstories, Tesco to EE were focused on customer service. Ensuring there was someone to assist with whatever you need as well as the "icing" - an incredible physical and immersive experience.

I wonder if there is an opportunity for all of us in that observation? As I walk past our Kiwi telco stores, I am drawn to the big digital screens, bright colours and big statements. But looking past that I see massive lines of people tapping their feet and looking frustrated. An unsolved issue waiting to be resolved. Their ability to breathe has been impacted. I wonder whether getting the basics right first might be the missing trick.


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