How Verizon is reinventing the customer experience post-pandemic
Ronan Dunne, CEO of Verizon's consumer group, details how the company will combine the digital and physical to optimize the customer experience.
let me turn to run and done. Who is the group's ceo of Verizon consumer and and run and Stephanie's doing all this great business on your phone. So congratulations for that. But but tell us how your relationship with the consumer is changing as a result of what we've been through. Well, if I if I roll back just to start. One of the things that I would say is that when we started into this situation we made an incredible marketing mistake. We talked about social distancing when we actually meant physical distancing and therefore the opportunity, I think, is to understand social re engagement and touch in the experience uh sense. So we're very much focused on in a business where we're, in some respects, inherently digital. But we also have a lot of people who are not digitally confident when it comes to their interaction with their with their suppliers. We have a microcosm every age profile around with 100 million consumers. So what we've been focusing on is trying to take what are elements of the physical journey and elements of the digital capability and and bring them together. And whether you call it humanizing digital or whether you call it digital, you know the truth is that its elements And it's a bit like the experience for employees is we're never going back to where we were, but there is an opportunity to be thoughtful about which elements of the last 1218 months, which were accelerants do we do we want to introduce and I would highlight a couple of things? Uh I'm very practical things. We've seen about a 700% increase in in store pickup. And the interesting insight there is that customers were always doing some prep online. Now they're a bit more confident to go further along the journey. And so we're still seeing digital in the mix. I mean our industry was probably pre pandemic, no more than about 10 or 12% of transactions completed. And when I say transactions I mean a farm purchased for a new line or an upgrade, so relatively small proportion that were pure digital. But about 80 of people had some digital engagement on their journey. What we're seeing is we're still staying above about a 30% digital full transaction now. So we've definitely seen people's digital confidence to go further along the journey improve. But we've also seen a real desire for people to come back to retail. And so what we're trying to do is bring some of the digital experience of online shopping into the retail store, so it's less less contact so people feel more safe and comfortable but secondly also highly highly efficient. So we have a digital assistant which are store staff use which can help to Capture an order while a conversation and discovery of needs is going on running just a couple of things I want to clarify. You said you were like 10 or 12% complete digital transactions and now you're 30. Yes And you think that the industry was at 10 or 12, we were actually 17 before the pandemic, we're still seeing about 30 and we're seeing a much higher tele cells proportion than we had as well. And I haven't been in a horizon store since the pandemic. So forgive me for this. But if I walk in I'm I'm still interacting with a person but that person has better digital tools. Yes indeed. And also in depending state by state some of them may still have certain separations but we're also able to do things cross device In the store so that we can take over control of your device to demonstrate certain things. We can co browse with you other things. So there's a whole series of tools that we have previously used only maybe in the call center, which now actually were used in the retail environment because people feel more competent, more comfortable doing that. And if I if I may have 32nd anecdote are fires, technicians couldn't cross the threshold in the early days of the pandemic. But everybody needed world class residential broadband which you know, thankfully fires is so we found a way of actually building a fire installation in the milk. Yeah, great. And leaving it at people's front door, take a crushable wire so that they could get connected and people found that they could actually upgrade what's happening now is more people feel confident to do a self installed in the self upgrade than they did a year ago, because people realize it's actually pretty straightforward. And one last question on the storefront, have you reduced your storefronts? Will you reduce your storefront or do you think you need all your storefront? I'm gonna, I'm gonna ying to the yang, I just announced I'm recruiting 1000 extra staff for retail of every one of my stores open. I'm going to extend opening hours. We're gonna be there for customers because five G is the most exciting thing that ever happened in our industry. So we have a great story to tell.