“Verizon Wireless Smart Stores are all about a personalized experience, so our lifestyle zone specialists work directly with business owners and entrepreneurs to help them find what they need for their businesses.”
Christine Berberich is the president of Verizon Wireless New England, highest-ranked wireless provider in the Northeast according to a J.D. Power quality performance study.
Over the last year, Verizon Wireless has enhanced the local 4G LTE network and launched a redesigned “Smart Store” in Warwick to showcase new wireless technologies. Berberich spoke with Providence Business News about the company’s plans to continue improving its service in Rhode Island and embrace a new public image.
PBN: What wireless technology products are on display at the new designed Verizon Wireless Smart Store in Warwick?
BERBERICH: We are taking the shopping experience to the next level with our newly designed Smart Stores, making it more engaging, personalized and streamlined for customers. The Smart Stores incorporate interactive lifestyle zones to include music, fitness and home as well as a robust selection of smartphones, tablets and smart accessories. For example, in the home zone, customers will find products like Nest Home Thermostat, a wirelessly controlled thermostat, and the Belkin WeMo Switch, which lets users turn home electronics on or off using a mobile app. In the fitness and music sections, products like the Fitbit Force and the Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth Speaker are featured. And of course, our stores have plenty of toys and learning tools for children of all ages – great for last-minute gifts this holiday season.
PBN: Are these Smart Stores part of a broader effort by Verizon Wireless to shift its public image from just a cell-phone service provider to something more?
BERBERICH: Yes, we’re transforming the focus of our stores from selling devices to enabling customers to discover all that wireless technology can do for their mobile lifestyles. We are redesigning our existing retail fleet into Smart Stores to showcase our 4G LTE network and the various ways it can help customers do more based on their lifestyle needs, preferences and desires. The Warwick store is one of the first in the redesign of our 1,700 company-owned retail stores nationwide during the next few years.
PBN: How can business owners and entrepreneurs take advantage of Verizon Wireless Smart Stores to discover new wireless solutions for their businesses?
BERBERICH: Verizon Wireless Smart Stores are all about a personalized experience, so our lifestyle zone specialists work directly with business owners and entrepreneurs to help them find what they need for their businesses. With business owners’ hectic schedules, we have several products for those who are on-the-go including wireless chargers and mobile hotspots. Additionally, business owners can go to the demo bar or attend a wireless workshop to learn more about how to get the most out of their mobile devices and wireless technology.
PBN: What changes have customers noticed since Verizon Wireless’ improvements this year to the 4G LTE network in Rhode Island?
BERBERICH: Over the past year, we’ve made several enhancements and expansions across the state and region. In fact, in the first half of 2013, we completed $100 million in wireless network enhancements across New England, increasing Verizon Wireless’ regional network investment to more than $3.4 billion since its inception in 2000. Additionally, Verizon Wireless ranked highest among all other national wireless providers in the Northeast, including the state of Rhode Island, in the J.D. Power 2013 Wireless Network Quality Performance Study, Volume 2, issued Aug. 29.
PBN: Do you have plans to further expand the Verizon Wireless network in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts?
BERBERICH: We plan to invest to make the mobile experience even better for our customers. From a real-estate agent uploading photos to an Internet listing to a fish market that uses cellular technology to accept and process credit cards, customers throughout the state can rely on our network. Most recently we enhanced coverage near the Statehouse and Amtrak train station in Providence and we’ll continue to share announcements as they become available.