Soon Rogers will hand deliver your new phone to your home, office or local coffee shop â€” and help you set it up
|Toronto Star 10 Oct 2019 at 03:31|
It wonâ€™t get there quite as quickly as a pizza, but a new service from Rogers Communications will let Canadians order a new cellphone online and have it delivered within hours.
And no, it wonâ€™t be like the cable guy promising to show up â€śbetween 1 and 5,â€ť only to arrive at 6:30.
At least thatâ€™s what Brent Johnston, president of Rogers Wireless is promising with the new â€śPro-on-the-Goâ€ť service, which launches in the Greater Toronto Area later this month, then rolls out to other major cities across Canada next year. The delivery comes with an in-person service call by an expert who will make sure all your apps and files are transferred to the new phone, and everythingâ€™s running smoothly.
â€śThis is centred on the customerâ€™s needs and schedule,â€ť said Johnston in an exclusive interview with the Star ahead of the launch. â€śWhen you order the phone, youâ€™ll let us know the time and the place which suits you, and youâ€™ll get a two-hour window. Then when theyâ€™re getting close, theyâ€™ll let you know exactly when theyâ€™re showing up.â€ť
The Pro-on-the-Go service will be provided by third-party provider led Enjoy, the brainchild of former Apple Retail head Ron Johnson, who likens the four-year-old company to a mobile version of a retail experience he used to be responsible for.
â€śThis isnâ€™t just a delivery service. Itâ€™s kind of like Uber combined with the Apple store. We spend as much time with you as you need,â€ť said Johnson.
In Canada, his firm will only be partnering with Rogers. In the U.S., itâ€™s working with AT&T and Google. It also has customers across the U.K.
There wonâ€™t be any extra charges for the service, which is the same way Enjoy operates in other markets.
â€śItâ€™s free everywhere we operate. No one charges you a ticket price to go into a store. This is the next generation of retail experience,â€ť said Johnson.
Because the new service wonâ€™t be paid for directly by customers, it could cut into the communications giantâ€™s profit margins. However, itâ€™s worth it if it means hanging onto customers in a highly competitive environment, says retail analyst Lisa Hutcheson.
â€śAt the end of the day, telecom companies are all providing the same phones, and very similar types of phone service. They need to find a way to differentiate themselves on customer service, or it all just becomes about price,â€ť said Hutcheson, managing partner at retail consultancy J.C. Williams. â€śHow do you maintain market share?â€ť
Hutcheson, who expects the service to be emulated by some of Rogersâ€™ competitors, likes the idea of shortening the delivery time for online orders while adding the expertise youâ€™d find in a bricks-and-mortar store.
â€śPeople are busy and time-starved. Theyâ€™re listening to their customers about what their pain points are, and addressing them,â€ť Hutcheson said.
Potential competitors looking to emulate the new service will have a hard time, argued Enjoyâ€™s Johnson.
â€śThis isnâ€™t easy to replicate. Thereâ€™s not a single company doing what we do. We wonâ€™t just have inventory of the phones in stock. Weâ€™ll have inventory of other things they might want to have. And finding great employees is always hard,â€ť said Johnson, who stressed that all Pro-on-the-Go staff will be full-time employees with benefits, rather than contractors.
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Donâ€™t expect Rogers stores to start disappearing because of the new offering, however. Retail outlets will still play an important role, Rogersâ€™ Johnston said.
â€śThe mall still has a value proposition. People come in an have three or four things theyâ€™re going to do. Thereâ€™s a convenience factor to our mall stores,â€ť said Johnston, who added that the vast majority of people shopping for new phones do it online.