Watch out for Sellers

During the autumn, Mobile implemented the annual test of phone dealers. We’ve gone from store to store in the big chain stores and surfed, mailed and telephoned to Web retailers. The conclusion is that mobile buyers with little or no previous knowledge lives dangerously.

Also this year, we have in some cases been our worst fears confirmed. Although some of the remarkable responses we received to our questions can be put on the account of pure misunderstanding remains an unpleasant truth when all weighted together. Too many sellers are willing to say little about anything to either hide their own ignorance or because they think that a certain response, that may very well be completely incorrect and misleading, will increase their chances of selling.

But as in all professions, there are both good and bad salespeople and support staff. And it’s really not all that lying and joints to avoid having to say they do not know. Naively, one might think that an answer was that they did not know, or possibly to the customer asked after not really played any role would be the most common, along with correct answers. But unfortunately, we find that the most common alongside the correct answers were not non-response, but incorrect answers.

The purpose of our testing has always been to assess retail chains and online retailers, not to put the score on individual members of staff. Therefore, we have not made any effort to ask the same questions to the same people with different conditions. It had, however, been interesting in that the man might have been able to get an explanation for the strange responses.

For example, why a seller picks up five ordinary phones out of the store’s booth, all alleged to be extra durable, but despite the fact that the Sony Ericsson C702 is also in the booth mentioned it not even. If we instead had asked for a good music phone, had it been the same five mobiles picked up? Sometimes it is easy to suspect that the sale of some phones and services results in higher commissions than others.

The opposite way we encounter well. It happens when we go into a store that shows his range in a small, light transparent glass case with about 20 mobiles, they include both a C702 and a durable model from Samsung. Despite the seller says that there is no cell in the range that might suit us.

-They are not resistant to moisture and they can not stand to be dropped. But we had a Nokia before,…

After a moment of deliberation, he concluded that Nokia phone in question is discontinued.

Moreover, we must probably appoint Sony Ericsson C702 to this year’s most misunderstood mobile. It happens remarkably often in stores that have a C702 conspicuous among other models that vendors don’t mention it when we ask for sturdy phones. In some cases, it can surely be because they did not have it in stock and would rather say models available at home, but it can hardly explain all those times we are experiencing this. At the same time seems C902 have acquired an undeserved reputation as extra durable. It pops up so many times that we end up calling to Sony Ericsson to double check that we have not missed anything. But which confirms that it is an ordinary model. Perhaps it is its design that allows it to be perceived as resistant.

Our questions about sync gives the sometimes equally strange answer, but here it is more common that the sellers acknowledge that they don’t know. Perhaps it’s because the questions are not in the same way is directly tied to the ability to sell certain phones. But it is perhaps such that record? When a salesperson first recommended a smartphone from Nokia with the Symbian operating system, and then also demonstrated a simpler java mobile phone from Sony Ericsson for one of our broadcast and asked about the possibility of synchronising the two phones with a computer takes place following American:

-It is only Nokia phones and Sony Ericsson’s Xperia X 1 which you can sync with a computer.

So it is not possible with any other model from Sony Ericsson?

-No, or Yes, you can try to hack the Sony Ericsson phones and if you do that then you could install a special program and then go there.

One wonders if the reasoning had been reversed and to Sony Ericsson’s advantage if the seller thought the chances were greater that sell a phone of the brand than a Nokia. Or if he seriously thought that Sony Ericsson mobiles must be chopped.

When it comes to questions about the e-mail on your phone and on the possibilities to use it as a modem, it feels maybe more alright among sellers to say you don’t know. Responses will be in all cases more reluctant and more sellers choose to simply admit that you don’t know the answers. But even here, there are exceptions. When we ask a seller if you have any special plans to receive email on your phone will answer quickly and firmly:

-Yes, Tele2.

It feels like an elaborate response to the seller in case for some reason want to sell just Tele2 plans. But even here we also encounter more confused response that probably due to ignorance. Subscription is not a problem, but it is doubtful if the mobile we are pretending to be interested in (which happens to be a Nokia with Symbian S60) can manage email. On the other hand, suggests the seller on a different, cheaper, Symbian mobile phone from Nokia and then he says:

-It has Symbian so then there are a lot of java applications on the Web that you can download. I’m not entirely sure, but it should go to find something email program as well.

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Online shops

This type of basic information can be easier to obtain if you manage their purchase of phones using the Web. If you can get what you want to know by reading the information that the stores will give depends on how detailed the information is, how educational it is and how much previous experience you have. Risk of incorrect factual information, however, should be less when it comes to product information on the Web.

Most of the Web retailer maintains a relatively high level on their websites. Common for most people is that they are easy to navigate but, on the other hand, the degree of information vary more. Sensible search features are missing in some places and it is relatively common to not have enough good opportunities to compare different phones with each other, as otherwise the right Web offers excellent opportunities for, and this in a way that can be done simply and clearly to the customer in a way that is difficult in a traditional store.

But even on the Web, you end up in situations where the customer may need to communicate with another human being. When it comes to Web dealers, we have turned us into their customer services. To the extent that they have been offering it, we contacted both by calling customer service or by sending email. A boring thing that we noticed was that too many took an easy way out and referred to the own Web instead of answering the questions.

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One can certainly find that customer first should seek information on your site-if you don’t understand that you work on behalf of the customer. Whether the customer calls or sends e-mails because he or she has not been able to find the information on the site, or to the person in question has not had the inclination to look so deserve as full a and answer to the best of their ability. Here too we encounter on a disturbingly large part incorrect, not to say crazy, answers. The rate is lower, and maybe it’s because the respondent either have little time in which to answer questions that come via email, or in any case can look in the internal material and the Web while the customer is waiting on the phone. In store seems to many sellers very keen to provide rapid response, accurate or not.

But on the other hand, it is a bit strange that it’s so common that it is talking to can’t or have the energy to search for information in any way other than a standard Internet search. “I’ll see if I can Google forward” is a common reply. Internal information about the products it sells itself should exist and be sufficiently detailed in order to be able to answer our questions.

Finally, we also checked price levels for web retailers, and this was the major difference. As a consumer you should really to compare prices between different retailers because they may have to pay up to double the price for something as common as a memory card is in the wrong place. (To compare prices at brick-and-mortar stores are equally important but for practical reasons and for reasons of fairness-we haven’t done it in our summary as some chains do not have uniform pricing across all stores.)

Then, we must not forget we have also encountered a number of people that provide quick and accurate answers and have also been very helpful and accommodating. The retail chains and online retailers that have the greatest share of that type among their employees is evidenced by overall rating we shared out after they gathered impressions after all visits are counted together. But I can’t help but wonder how competent and service-oriented experience their own working situation when so many of them uppbarligen are surrounded by colleagues who either don’t want to or can’t treat their customers in a sensible way. I really hope that in most cases it comes down to a lack of knowledge and not deliberately misleading customers, but on the other hand bad enough.

Winners stores: The Phone House

With a consistently high level of their staff takes The Phonehouse home victory among retailers with physical stores. They manage to completely avoid low points for incorrect or missing answers to knowledge questions and the staff is experienced in General as friendly and helpful without ever turning over in there a little bit pushy salesperson behavior that we sometimes encounter from competitors.

Winners Web stores: Katshing

Here it gets full marks in all categories for Katshing. Speaking to the rest of the starting field is in the category of customer service that it’s the largest spread. Katshing, however, has not succumbed to the temptation to put customer service at the exception, this is the fast and accurate answers both via email on the phone. When you also manage to take home the victory in the other categories with a clear and simple website that also contains advanced features and a low price will be the clear winner.