Customers have noticed some changes to wireless retail locations after the onset of the pandemic last year. Some of the changes have been mostly internal while some changes have negatively affected the customer experience.
The first wireless provider we’ll look at is Verizon Wireless.
At the beginning of the shutdown, Verizon shifted retail jobs in a major way. Many employees were offered the option to apply to other positions or temporarily work from home but many were offered severance packages as stores either closed permanently or had to cut staff. One of the biggest changes that customers are definitely noticing is the experience of being in a Verizon Wireless store. Many customers are being asked to wait outside or in their cars as only one customer can be in the store at a time. However, when a customer is in the store the representative is following them around if the customer is just browsing. This hovering has rightfully caused some unease for customers. A few other less disruptive changes that are likely to stick around are contactless payment options and making appointments to work with an in-store representative.
AT&T’s Cricket Wireless has also been making some substantial changes.
Cricket Wireless no longer has any corporate-run storefronts. This means that all operating retail locations are operated by authorized retailers only. Prior to the pandemic there were only a handful of corporate-run stores but some customers have seen their locations closed for good. However, customers can still find Cricket Wireless online and sold at Walmarts and Targets across the United States. Other smaller wireless providers like Boost Mobile are also following suit.
AT&T Wireless has been closing many of their brick and mortar stores as well. Although this was slowly coming about before 2020, the closing has just been accelerated by the pandemic. According to the Communications Workers of America, AT&T has closed over 500 stores nationwide. Store closures began once the company created strategies to address the shift in consumer buying habits from in-store to online.
T-Mobile actually had their most successful year yet with a large increase in postpaid sales.
This was apparently calculated without the addition of Sprint customers from the T-Mobile Sprint merger. T-Mobile credits their success to their preparation and their continued investment in 5G and their assets.
Customers have been shifting their buying habits from in-store purchases and interactions to online.
Most wireless companies had been slowly implementing their plans to address this. However, the pandemic forced most wireless providers to speed up the process leaving people without jobs and some questionable reactions to in-store procedures. This change to majority online support will affect how businesses interact with their wireless providers. It may not be possible for an employee to go pick up a new device or switch over their personal plan to the business plan in stores as they were able to before. Thankfully, Verify! has the expertise and knowledge on working with business plans so that businesses never have to waste time on the details. We want our clients to focus on their expertise while we deliver on ours: the complexities of wireless, telecom, and internet. Get started today with a risk-free analysis of your wireless business accounts. We save our clients an average of 31% on their wireless bills and if we can’t find any savings, we don’t charge for our services. It’s that simple. Get started today.