TCC, a Verizon authorized retailer, has always been a pioneer in the wireless industry. Leveraging new technologies with daring strategies is a key component to its success. Today’s retail landscape demands that retailers employ technology that keeps up with customer demands, especially when it comes to the expectation for convenience and personalization. TCC was eager to be ahead of the curve and find a platform that satisfied both areas now and in the future.
Frank Gumino is the Chief Information Officer for Round Room Inc. Wireless Division that includes both TCC and another Verizon wireless authorized retailer, Wireless Zone. As he sees it, TCC is first and foremost a technology company, which means it “needs to stay current and maintain a competitive advantage” with the technology it selects and deploys.
With a keen eye looking out for what’s next, Gumino and his team recognized that the rapidly changing expectations of TCC customers called for an equally rapid response. Both TCC and Wireless Zone needed a technological shift that would not only reduce the frustration caused by manual entry, but that would also remove physical barriers between customers and associates that resulted in lost sales. What did Gumino see as the answer? To “upgrade to a modern mobile point-of-sale (POS) solution that improves the in-store experience for both the customers and employees,” said Gumino. For his team, RQmobile — the iQmetrix mobile retail management and point-of-sale solution — was the only platform that would meet TCC’s immediate needs while satisfying the company’s innovative spirit to prepare them for the future of the industry, whatever that would look like.
Why mobile makes the difference
More than an industry leader in the adoption of technology, TCC is focused on providing best-in-class service. “We plan to stay at the forefront of embracing emerging trends,” said Gumino. “We have always been an organization willing to try new things.” For that to happen, Gumino knew that implementing mobile solutions would be essential to adjust to new trends, expectations, and channels.
A mobile point of sale solution isn’t only the next step in the evolution of transactional retail, it’s also what’s next for retailers who want to elevate their in-store experience. Before using RQmobile, TCC had recognized the frustrations of not only customers but of associates as well. “Physical barriers between customers and associates did not allow us to maximize sales opportunities,” explained Gumino. While the TCC team boasts unbeatable service, any business that only has physical workstations is limited to the number of transactions they can make at one time. Additionally, when an associate is confined to transacting from behind a workstation, they are unable to support a customer wherever they are on the sales floor.
Adding a mobile fleet was a change, but one that TCC was well equipped to manage. Gumino said that newer associates adapted easily to RQmobile, but “seasoned associates needed to be shown the value of the platform. We overcame this with communications, field user groups, training, and positive system experiences.” It was a cultural shift for TCC employees to adjust their comfort levels with mobile transactions, walking the sales floor with the customer, with the ability to help them when, where, and how they want, was a game-changing process.
Along with using RQmobile, TCC also upgraded its payment processing technology to the wireless Ingenico 2500 devices in place of multiple fixed peripherals. “Using the wireless payment devices [through RQmobile] allowed us to go from a 1:1 ratio of payment device to workstation to a 1:3 ratio of payment device to iPads with significant savings,” said Gumino. With RQmobile powering its associates, TCC sees a “50% reduction in the ongoing cost of in-store POS technology — for both new and existing locations — based on using the minimum required number of desktop workstations and scaling with RQmobile on iPads.”
Meeting (and exceeding) customer expectations
Going mobile wasn’t only a solution to in-store friction caused by immovable payment terminals and workstations. For TCC, it was clear that by implementing mobile technologies, its in-store efforts would meet customer expectations while simultaneously setting the standard for other retailers.
It was clear that a physical barrier was blocking true profitability for TCC — a point of contention likely noticed by other telecom retailers as well. The restrictions caused by a terminal workstation meant that an associate had limited options of where they could help a customer whether that be by providing product information or complete a transaction. These workstations removed the opportunity for real-time assistance unless the customer was also at the terminal (which is rare when they are in the process of shopping). Not only that, but when physical workstations are all that are available, if a customer is being helped at each one, then it results in a potentially lengthy wait time for any other customers in the store.
Mobile solutions were the obvious solution for TCC and Wireless Zone, and RQmobile was the solution that would check all of the boxes — and then some. “The challenges I mentioned have been eliminated,” said Gumino. “We are seeing excellent customer scores and reviews. Employee turnover is down, and [TCC] has received local and national recognition for best workplaces.”
TCC isn’t guessing when it comes to what its customers want; its teams have done the research to ensure that RQmobile directly provides solutions to the pain points customers face. “Surveys have shown us that customers prefer a mobile experience, and we have seen that translate into increased revenue,” added Gumino. “The experience is more personalized and our customer reviews [about our mobile experience] have been very positive.”
Prepared for the future of retail
Implementing RQmobile may have supported the immediate needs of TCC customers, but the telecom retailer is not in the business of short-term solutions. Gumino said that the biggest challenge facing TCC — and wireless as a whole— is going to be “continuing to serve customers on their terms with expectations that have been evolving for years [with little sign of slowing down]. Change has also certainly been accelerated during the pandemic.”
Gumino sees mobile solutions, namely RQmobile, as a way for TCC to remain flexible, open to change, quickly adopt new features, and above all provide great customer service. “Across our 500+ TCC stores, we see 75-95% of our transactions done through RQmobile. [This solution] was so successful at TCC, that we are currently converting our 415 Wireless Zone stores to RQmobile as well.”
TCC and Wireless Zone have been using iQmetrix solutions, in various ways, since 2010. Throughout that time, iQmetrix has been able to earn a comprehensive understanding of company goals and works closely with Gumino and his teams to ensure all needs are supported. “We have a true partnership in place,” he said. “[iQmetrix] listens to our needs and works with us to accomplish joint goals in a transparent and honest style of communication… Our [iQmetrix] client manager is like an extension of our team and we work with our client manager on a daily basis.”
Working with iQmetrix, TCC is eager to continue evolving as technologies do. Gumino says that consistent and continuous enhancements to RQ will “allow that [same] evolution of customer expectation and service level to be supported.” Paired with TCC’s willingness to adapt to industry flux, Gumino said that functional teams that support the iQmetrix and TCC partnership will only thrive.
TCC using RQmobile raised the bar of its in-store experience while solidifying a future-focused retail strategy. Mobile technologies are here to stay and promise to continue to meet customer expectations as they grow and evolve. TCC plans to broaden its mobile tech stack and embrace new ways of leveraging mobile solutions. “We will continue to be flexible, and open to change and new ways of doing things,” Gumino concluded. “Above all, we will continue to provide great customer service — RQmobile is a key part of what will make that possible for our teams.”