Getting the right advice in a comfortable environment is paramount. The winner of our first In-store Customer Experience award took it comfortably on all counts - store décor, staff advice and phone demos
WINNER: Three We asked and you told us - Three was by far the tops for in-store customer experience amongst our 10,000 voters. Maybe it's the clean white décor punctuated with primary colours, or the easy to digest store promos, but on the three most important factors of retail - look and feel, in-store advice and product demos - readers scored Three stores the highest on every front.
Recent refreshes to what you get in-store include the monthly buyer's guide, a magazine listing the network's best and new plans, along with plenty of info on the latest handsets to take away and peruse at home.
Runner-up: O2With its new O2 Guru service, it's no surprise you guys rated O2 shops for their retail offerings. The network also recently opened its largest shop yet, a 4,500 square foot behemoth on Tottemham Court Road in London. With a huge range of devices to play with, comfy consulation areas and a fast-moving express counter, it's likely to keep O2 well in the running for future iterations of this award.
Carphone WarehouseThe UK's largest retailer is an obvious contender on this shortlist with over 800 shops all over the nation, offering just about every device you can think of. Its staff are trained in service-with-a-smile as much as sheer technical knowledge, too, leading roughly 56% of you to rate its in-store advice as excellent or very good. The retailer giant recently celebrated the renovation of its first ever store (21 years old!) on Marylebone High Street into its 100th flagship wireless store, kitted out with full wireless tech.
T-Mobile This year has seen T-Mobile push in-store customer service more than ever. A new coverage checker system in all its shop helps potential customers ensure they have coverage where they live and work before committing to a T-Mob contract, while the operator also recently launched satisfaction texts - when a customer buys a phone, they get an instant text asking for feedback on the transaction, helping store managers critique and teach their staff. Commitment phobes will rate the return of the 12-month contract bundling a free phone too.
Vodafone 82% of Vodfaone customers ranked its shops 'quite good' or better in look and feel, while 77% gave the thumbs up to store staff's product demos. And these figures are bound to soar as Vodafone gears up to revam 480 stores. In the coming months it will implement dedicated demo areas and wireless tech, and put all stock on the shop floor rather than a backroom so that salespeople need never leave a customer. Millions have been invested - and you'll be reaping the rewards.