For many of us buying a new mobile phone is a task, even a quest, which is not satisfying until it's over and the device is in hand. In the U.K. the mobile operator Orange is experimenting with shop concepts that create a better customer experience. We stumbled on this one in Notting Hill last week, apparently the only one of its kind in London. The "not another phone shop," opened about 8 months ago, is a laid back place where you can try out working phones and talk to salespeople who are both intelligent and patient—surprisingly rare. As one employee explained, they're not paid on commission and are rewarded for positive feedback from customers so that helps change the game significantly to the shopper's advantage.
The welcoming space is decorated with photos taken with camera phones and the expected orange furniture. Phones are displayed in lucite cases, but can then be found in drawers beneath. Customers are encouraged to come back often—in the shop you can grab a coffee while your mobile is charged and cleaned or you can learn how to load music and read email on your particular device.
Orange's "not another phone shop"
201 Westbourne Grove
London, W11 2SB