Store to new heights
Telecommunications network Globe Telecom is the second largest in the Philippines. In the past Globe has operated its wireless (mobile phones/3G broadband) and wire line (landline/cable) networks as two separate businesses, each with their own service centres, staff culture and head office departments.
Globe is now rolling out a comprehensive infrastructure of new cables across the country, which is generating a huge increase in both marketing and customer service challenges for both existing and new customers.
Globe’s new CEO Ernest Cu saw two great business opportunities ahead of him. The first was to amalgamate both businesses into one customer-facing proposition, making things easier for the customer and more efficient for the business at the same time. The second was to aggressively move into the market of retailing hardware and accessories associated with the ‘digital life’ category.
Globe’s biggest challenge was to organise its internal structure in a way that would support a completely new retail proposition. The amalgamation of two very different staff cultures, the need for a network strategy to define the appropriate retail mix, and the need to credibly enter a new retail category were all issues that impacted the organisation to its core.
Enter Public Design Group, a retail brand consultancy that regularly works alongside Brand Behaviour [which is headed by Karl Treacher] and that had recently tackled similar projects designing the new retail experience for both Optus and SingTel.
With a whole new team led by retail strategist John Velasco (formerly Watsons Pharmacy and Chevron) Globe set about transforming its retail proposition.
“We needed to find an unquestionable reference for the success of this project, so we picked a site that had an existing wireless and wire line store next to each other and converted the entire site into one – a direct before and after comparison with the same footprint and customer traffic,” explains Velasco.
Internal branding agency: Brand Behaviour
Brand consultancy: Public Design Group
Globe’s brand objective was to deliver on its promise of “enriching lives through ease and relevance” in a retail experience that shifted the perception of Globe from being a network of service centres towards being a network of retail outlets.
The business objective was to create a significant and sustainable rise in revenue both by increasing share of wallet from existing customers coming into the store for after-sales service and from new customers in the accessories and hardware market.
The final objective was to create the number one telco customer experience in the Philippines in two ways: first, by creating a new aspirational shopping element to the experience and, second, by fundamentally overhauling the service experience. Currently resembling an RTA service centre, the service experience needed redesigning to meet the needs of customers, followed by a recalibration of the operational needs of the business around the new model.
The first challenge for the agency was to work with Velasco developing a network strategy that would identify the exact type of store formats required across the country, not only to support the new retail proposition, but also to support the future transactional demand of customers in areas that were receiving services for the first time.
The second challenge for the agency was pitching the ‘shift’ from service to retail in a way that made perfect sense to customers. This meant being able to offer the best levels of after-sales service in the Philippines and being able to credibly enter the world of accessories retailing – in the same environment.
We started with an in-depth understanding of the customer needs associated with different types of mindset. This enabled us to identify the permission that customers grant the brand to interact with and ultimately sell to them in different circumstances. We immediately recognised the problem that we had to accommodate two very different types of customer mindset – sales and after-sales service – in the same space, which led to the idea of having a separate space for each.
The ‘shop’ has been designed as a separate space within the overall store, positioned in the most prominent part of the site with a completely open frontage, surrounded by the service space at the rear.
The shop layout follows the naturally intuitive sequence of enquiry for most customers who come in with a shopping mindset, starting with the latest, most desirable product in the centre, moving out to the range and then out further to the network benches where customers can browse offers and deals that bundle the devices they’ve seen offered through the network plans.
The after-sales service area is located behind the shop, with customers able to enter the shop from the service area if they wish. A revolution in its own right, the after-sales service space operates with three separate areas for different types of service requirements.
By aligning staff roles with transactional demand, Globe has become much more efficient in the way it processes customers, both for sales and service and for when both are combined.
The service area is complemented by the creation of a new service brand with a kind looking female face. The insight being that customers looking for service need empathy, guidance and advice, not promotion.
One of the biggest wins of this project is the seamless integration of marketing activity into the shop. The shop has been categorised into three main areas of customer usage: Home Life, Mobile Life and Business Life. This type of usage categorisation transcends traditional customer segmentation, allowing for a far simpler platform for creating differentiated retail offers and deals.
The shop has also been designed as a re-dressable stage for major campaign launches or handset manufacture launches. Revenue from selling these spaces will make a significant contribution to the operation of the network.
In the two months since opening, sales have literally doubled. More importantly, the most significant rise in sales has been in the most valuable thing that Globe sells, long-term commitment to the network – post-paid plans. Public Design Group is now embarking on the design of a further 133 sites across the three main regions of the Philippines.