Guru Swap

The opportunity first came about when I met Antonio Taylor, one of the Store of the Futures most experienced Gurus with over 5 years with the company. We got chatting after I saw him doing an impromptu DJ performance at the most recent Guru Forum. I told Anthony that part of my role as Lead Guru is helping our Gurus in SC be the best they could possibly be and sharing best practice and he invited me to take part in their Guru Exchange program of which I have taken part today.

I started the day with a tour around the store. It feels more like a funky independent coffee house than a sales floor, comfortable sofas, a long bench that runs through the middle of the store where anybody can come in and chill out, movie quizzes on tablets (where I won some free chocolate) and that relaxing, welcoming atmosphere passes to customers and staff alike creating a friendly and calming environment to deal with customer queries, be it O2 related or not.

I shared stories about what SC and BAK have been doing in our respective communities such as Project 65 and Online Safety workshops up north, the accessibility workshops and Dementia workshops that we’ve been hosting down south. I also heard about some of the events that they host in their community such as DJ sessions with local kids, working with vulnerable young girls to help encourage them with their sporting endeavours rather than joining gangs as well as some of the seminars and team building experiences the team here attend to help better their own skills and network on behalf of O2.

I’ve taken away some good practices I want to share with the team in next week’s Guru meeting on 13th December such as using EventBrite to spread the word about upcoming Guru events and taking bookings for workshops, using apps like SafeToNet to add in built safety features to children’s device to help parents monitor their usage. The Store of the Future also has their own Google Drive that the Gurus use to share and store their training PowerPoints, guru event key info, photos from events as well as any day to day documents. I would very much like to adopt a similar system for BAKSC as a way for our Gurus across all three regions to share their knowledge and build on each other’s ideas.

‘Powerful people creating powerful experiences’ this is the motto of The Store of the Future Team and is clearly a mantra I have seen demonstrated with all customers that came in today, going that extra mile for customers is what O2 and BAKSC are all about. Overall it was a fantastic experience and I would highly recommend visiting the store to anyone in the company who wants to know what the retail space will be like in the rapidly approaching future.

By Joel Hatchard

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