It’s a busy day in our new Pop-up Shop where a couple of members came in for phone support. Other inquisitive minds came in to find out what we are all about, why are we here and who are we. Some passerby just came in for a free cup of coffee and WiFi. The highlight of the day was when the News and Observer came to interview our CEO, Chris Chuang. We feel the love and the connection with the Raleigh community.
Thanks for starting this thread! I spent much of last week in the Pop-up and wanted to share my “day in the Pop-up shop” experience, too.
We had fairly consistent traffic in the shop, especially if the weather was good. We had some members come in with appointments, and some just drop in. People who had never heard of us stopped in as well, out of curiosity. Some of the traffic we saw:
- a RW family on their way to the State Fair bought a new phone to upgrade one line.
- a customer of another service who had heard about us from AARP and Clark Howard bought a new phone, activated and ported over while in the shop, and received some hands-on guidance on using the new phone from one of our technicians.
- a couple looking for iPhones
- a guest who just needed to sit and charge her phone for a while (we have charging stations available in our “kitchen” and “living room” areas.)
- a member who is contemplating upgrading from a G1 and wanted to see and handle the new phones came in, tried them out, and left to think about it some more.
- a gentleman looking for an iPhone charger
- a friendly lady who was looking for somewhere to just access Wi-Fi for an hour or so sat with us and worked.
- a family came in to get a new SIM card to activate their “Frankenphone.” (Dad had used some serious techno-skilz to take two phones with issues and blend the best of both to create one (almost) working phone.)
When I left the shop Friday afternoon, we had a member driving in from an hour and a half away for support, and the team was keeping the store open (on a Friday night), eager to serve him.
I’ve heard so many great stories and experiences from the early weeks of the Pop Up Shop being open. Some from members and how enjoyable it is for them to have a place to come “see and talk to us”, some from our employees that enjoy the different atmosphere and interaction that the Shop offers. So, when my turn in the rotation came up this week I was very excited to get in here and create my own. So far it hasn’t disappointed…
Here is my Awesome Experience of the Week…
Tuesday afternoon I was sitting on the couch in the living room when a mother and her teenage son popped into the shop to get some troubleshooting done on her phone. Our TAC Guru Jeremy was there to assist with all the technical items (thank goodness, since that is NOT my strong suit) but this experience has nothing to do with that. While mom was working with Jeremy, the teen took a seat in the living room across for me. Since it was Halloween we had some candy out and he happily helped himself along with some other snacks we offer (cuz that’s what we do).
Once his after-school snack was finished, he sat quietly while mom continued to work on fixing her phone. He didn’t have his phone out, he just sat there looking at his shoes waiting. As about 15 mins passed, I realized that the troubleshooting was getting intense as they were factory resetting the phone for a second time. I had finished what I was working on, so I closed my laptop and introduced myself to Aiden. I pointed out all the phones we had on display and told him he could check them out. I listed some of the models that were on the shelf and when the words “Pixel 2” come out, he shot out of his chair and grabbed it!
Sitting back down with the phone, he started playing around and we discussed what he liked and didn’t like about the new Google phone. Ten minutes passed and then something happened…the young man stood up, put the phone back in its place and sat back down. As he was doing so I thought to myself, “Well I tried. At least I occupied him for 10 minutes.” But then the experience I was looking for at the store this week happened, we kept talking…mostly about technology and how it has advanced over the years. He explained he loved video games and we compared the systems of my day to his. He expressed how he thinks the next great phone evolution will involve holograms and boy do I hope he is right, how cool would that be? For the next hour, we sat in the Shop living room talking while his mom got her phone issues worked out.
It wasn’t until later that night, as I was reflecting back on the interaction, that I realized what took place. It was so obvious I couldn’t believe I hadn’t made the connection earlier. All you have to do is look at the phrase on the front of the Shop, “Welcome to a Better Phone-Life Balance.” This teenager and I were doing exactly what Republic’s mission states. We put our technology down and had an old-fashioned conversation. Towards the end of their visit, the young man was asked to contact his dad to let him know where they were, he replied: “I can’t, my phone is dead.” I was floored, he had a dead phone in his pocket all this time and about 283 chargers laying around. Not once did he ask to charge his phone and I like to think it was because of the atmosphere and culture we’ve created in the Pop Up Shop.
Great share @Jon.M.
Illustrates how our standards of human interaction have changed in the mobile era. I really like how you point out that we should probably rethink that.
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