Ask the Experts: What Are the Biggest Challenges Facing Independent Wireless Dealers?

Over the years, iQmetrix has worked with some of the biggest and smallest retailers in the wireless industry. We have learned so much through osmosis, and have become well-known as wireless retail experts. We are humbled by how much we have learned from our clients, how much more we can learn, and by how excited we are to brave the future with them.

I have had the pleasure of working closely (in most cases a few feet away from), the experts I’m about to introduce you to. Combined, they have nearly 50 years of experience at iQmetrix alone, and even more in the wireless industry outside of iQmetrix. So, for this blog I thought it would be great to share some of their expertise and insight.

Stacy Hamer | Director of Professional Services

Q: What are the biggest risks facing wireless retailers as we enter the second half of 2017?

A: All indirect retailers are facing reduced margins on activations, and because of this, are being forced to rely on repeat customers to increase revenues. Additionally, carriers continue to impose a variety of restrictions on their dealers.

Q: What are these restrictions and how does this create risk?

A: Specifically, dealers are not being allowed to differentiate themselves from every other dealer or carrier store. Every store must look like and operate the same for a consistent customer experience. The risk to retailers is how do you as a dealer make customers come to you and not the other guys, all while margins continue to shrink?

Theresa VanderVeen | Cricket Dealer Enterprise Client Manager

Q: You spend a lot of time in the field, how are clients mitigating these risks?

A: It’s not so much what they are doing but how they are doing it. The intangibles of a highly engaged sales force is a huge deal. I have seen changes in engagement from market to market where in one market the reps are highly engaged and are actively working to help increase margins through upselling, and in the other market, reps are doing the bare minimum to complete the sale.

It’s all about engagement from the top down. If engagement is consistent at each level of the organization, that company will see success in the face of these risks and challenges.

Q: In your experience on the frontlines, what tools are retailers using in real time to combat these risks?

Continuing with the theme of engagement, I have seen the retailers who have the most success are the ones who provide the necessary tools and resources, meaning the right training, the right products, etc. to their staff. Additionally, retailers that are using activity tracking or task management tools for direct clients can stay top of mind and ensure repeat traffic. I cannot stress enough: ENGAGED EMPLOYEES = GREAT EXPERIENCES.

Carma Young | Client Manager

Q: What are some of the other issues facing wireless retailers today?

A: Outside of carrier branding restrictions, the carriers impose other restrictions on what and how dealers can sell. This puts a strain on the business and they need to find ways to increase revenues despite these restrictions.

Q: Can you be more specific on what the carriers are restricting?

A: One big frustration for my clients is the inability to sell products online. A client’s website is one of the few ways they can differentiate themselves, however, clients cannot use their website to sell products and their site in simply informational instead of transactional.

If any of this sounds familiar to you, make sure you register for the iQmetrix Meetup. Our experts will all be at the Meetup in Scottsdale, Arizona and I encourage you to make them buy you a drink and pick their brains about the industry and how iQmetrix’s products can help alleviate some of these risks. Additionally, most will be presenting their expertise so be sure to check out the agenda and check out their session.

If you can’t wait till the iQmetrix Meetup, comment below and we’ll make sure one of our experts answers your question!