Personal environment makes customers happy and increases sales
The need for a personal and organized environment in the store
Before Qminder, the Sprint store was more like a bank and provided an environment that was not conducive to interaction between the sales representatives and customers. There were three main reasons why changes were needed.
First, the store was unorganized and looked cluttered. Visitors felt like cattle because they stood in lines between ropes. While standing in this queue, people ended up with five more problems because of their interactions with each other.
Sprint had built a special kids zone and provided comfortable couches for visitors while they waited, but nobody was using these because they were standing in line.
Kirby Ulmer, sales representative, says: "In the past we had stanchions and belts like in an airport, and it was like cattle. With Qminder, we have people everywhere and they’re not bunched together. They are not standing at one place like a herd of cattle."
Second, the shop didn’t hold enough people. From the outside it looked overcrowded. Some customers even left before entering because they saw long lines inside the store.
Sprint’s goal has always been to make the stay in its store as pleasant as possible. The company sets out real devices that customers can test. Customers can also check out accessories or simply sit on the couches while enjoying free Wi-Fi.
Derrick Wolfensberger, assistant manager, says: "With just five people, our store seemed full with a straight line. When the sixth person walked in the doors, they just walked out. I’ve seen people leaving. I can promise that, with Qminder, our store holds at least 20 people."
Finally, Sprint’s mission is to provide the best possible customer experience. The way to do this is to make interactions as personal as possible for every client. When a sales representative calls a customer by name, that customer’s impression of the interaction is boosted.
George Frankie McAllister, store manager, adds: "Our goal is to make five minutes seem like 30 seconds. The customer doesn’t mind waiting and can browse through the store. Qminder helps create that environment."
The Qminder setup in Sprint stores consists of multiple parts that help facilitate a personal approach to customer service. Together, these parts provide a perfect experience for Sprint’s visitors.
Qminder iPad Sign-In application
The customer walks in and enters his or her name into the Qminder iPad Sign-In application. This accomplishes a couple of things. First, each customer who walks into the store gets greeted right away. Second, once the iPad Sign-In application has the customer’s name, it tells the customer that he or she is free to browse the store and that employees will be with the customer as soon as possible.
The iPad is located on a nice floor stand and runs flawlessly over a wireless network all day without charging. Around the iPad case, Sprint has installed clear, understandable guidelines about signing in for the service.
Calling customers by name
Customers hate taking numbers. Therefore, Sprint takes names and tells customers to look around the store; there is no need to wait in line. Once a sales representative is available, he or she walk outs from behind the station and finds the customer by asking, "Is John available?" Then the representative greets the customer by introducing himself or herself and using the customer’s name.
Qminder gives sales representatives more to do than simply issue friendly greetings; with Qminder, representatives know why customers have come to the store. If a customer is there to pay a bill, the employee could say, "Welcome to Sprint, John. My name is Derrick. Is there anything else besides a bill pay that brought you in today?" Or if a customer elected to upgrade: "Welcome to Sprint, John. My name is Derrick. I would be glad to assist you with your upgrade today."
Sprint did not choose to use the Overview screen that shows the line information. It wanted to do away with the old process and start building a relationship with every visitor.
Dashboard from the PC
Every Sprint employee has his or her own login for the Qminder system, and uses it in his or her computer through the Google Chrome browser. There is no need to install additional software.
Sales representatives can see all the people who have lined up, and can edit or add extra information.
All employees can see each other’s statistics, creating a better retail sales environment.
Monitoring in real time
Store managers constantly monitor and explore statistics in real time from their computers or even their mobile phones. Qminder provides data that helps in managing employees and their time, which is especially helpful in determining whether extra help is needed on the shop floor.
With the help of real-time data, store managers can better manage their employees. They know exactly when the shop has spikes or slower times.
Every retail store is measured in a variety of ways, and significant business decisions are based on data. Qminder statistics are integrated into the Shentel business intelligence tool with the help of our open API. This allows the management, marketing and executive team to monitor every store and improve its operations.
Personal approach and statistics
Qminder is an easy-to-use greeting tool that welcomes every visitor into the Sprint store. It fosters personal and welcoming interactions between clients and sales representatives. A sales representative who greets a client by name, shaking his or her hand and asking if he or she is available for service, helps establish a strong relationship with the customer. Qminder breaks the barriers between employees and customers, and relieves the stress of waiting.
George Frankie McAllister, store manager, says: "Qminder is for the customer experience. We want to make every interaction as personal as possible."
Knowing the reasons why customers are here
After a client enters his or her name into the Qminder iPad Sign-In app, the client experiences a sense of relief, knowing that he or she will be served. In the meantime, customers can browse the store and look for new phones or accessories.
In addition, employees know exactly which needs brought clients to the store. Employees can prepare and be ready to give the best customer service possible. Qminder helps Sprint manage the shop floor and make more sales.
Qminder provides detailed and precise statistics about store visitors. Before, Sprint had only transactional and door-swing data; the company didn’t know why customers came to the store.
Big data is a great tool for upper management. Qminder answers many questions:
- How many visitors were there last week or month?
- Which sales representative served how many customers?
- What are the waiting and serving times?
- Why did people come to the store?
All this information is integrated into the corporate business intelligence tool. The marketing and executive team can easily check and compare store visitors and sales data, consequently understanding customer needs and wishes much better.
"Once I saw the statistics, I was shocked. Who is productive, who is helping that kind of customer. I can track my personnel during the day. Qminder data is a valuable tool when you have one-to-one conversations with your employees," adds George Frankie McAllister, store manager.
Data is also valuable in terms of one-to-one conversations between store managers and sales representatives. Employees stay motivated when they know statistics and can use them to improve their skills and customer service even more.
Benefits of SaaS
Sprint tested Qminder in one of its stores using the free trial; within a short amount of time, Sprint saw that Qminder helped significantly. The upfront cost was very low. Sprint had an iPad on site, and used just a simple setup to validate the need for a waiting line management system.
Sprint stores with the Qminder system constitute a perfect use case demonstrating how retail stores can significantly improve their customer service, making it as personal as possible. Qminder can boost sales as well.
With the implementation of Qminder, Shentel has increased its sales quota, which is set by the Sprint Corporation and was already pretty high.
George Frankie McAllister, store manager, confirms: "Since Qminder, our numbers have increased. Our numbers have spiked and now we’re consistently above 110 percent all of the time."
Qminder provides perfect statistics to help with staff planning and answer important business questions.
Visitors receive excellent customer service and enjoy a better store atmosphere.
Christopher Vargas, sales representative, says: "Qminder makes customers feel that they’re not in the DMV. Now everybody is looking at the phones and cases or sitting on the couches. Customers are happier now."
Sign up for Qminder’s free trial right now and improve your customer experience today!
About Sprint and Shentel
Sprint is a United States-based telecommunications holding company that provides wireless services and is also a major global Internet carrier. It was the third-largest U.S. wireless network operator as of February 2015, and serves 55.9 million customers.
The company has a clear mission: to be number one in providing a simple, instant, enriching and productive customer experience.
Shentel is a Sprint affiliate that provides high-speed Internet, clear voice, and sharp TV service to customers in Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland. It specializes in providing advanced services to rural and underserved markets. The company believes that these customers deserve the same level of service one would expect in a larger metropolitan area.
Sprint Corporation sets sales quotas for its partners to fill, and Shentel consistently meets those quotas. The company is a leader among Sprint affiliates and retailers.