Sales Consultant at Orange
The internship opportunity I had with Orange in Labège was a great chance for learning and professional development. Therefore, I consider myself as a very lucky individual as I was provided with an opportunity to be a part of it. I am also grateful for having a chance to meet so many wonderful people and professionals who led me through this internship period.
During my internship in an Orange store, I had to apply the company’s philosophy of a sales consultant, which can be broken down into four main principles :
- The welcome
- The understanding
- The building
- The accompaniment
Orange, founded in 1988, is a French multinational telecommunications corporation. It has 266 million customers worldwide and employs 89,000 people in France, and 59,000 elsewhere. It is the 11th largest mobile network operator in the world. The company’s mission statement is to supply mobile, landline, internet and Internet Protocol television (IPTV) services since 2006. As a Computer Networks student I chose this organization because I find their mission to be important and relevant to my career goals.
Description of the internship
My main role was to welcome the customers in the store (1st principle). As the first contact with the customer I had to be smiling, friendly and understanding. You have to know how to manage a wide range of behaviors. The customer can initially be annoyed, worried, incredulous, or happy to come to the store to simply walk around. During this reception phase, I was equipped with a tablet that allowed me to register customers on the waiting list or to make an appointment. It was important for me to give a good estimate of the waiting time to the customer. If I gave him a time that was too short he might get impatient, if it was the opposite he might refuse to wait and leave.
In parallel to this role at the reception desk, it was necessary for me to understand quickly and precisely the problems and questions of the customers. In order to cope with the high volume of customers, I could not afford to talk too long with each customer. I had to get to the point to quickly identify the problem. When I had to identify a problem, my questions had to be simple and precise. Simplicity is essential because some customers are not experts: popularizing is often a good solution. Precision is also necessary because it allows me to identify a problem and to differentiate it from other similar problems. To conclude this part, understanding was essential: I couldn’t afford to keep a customer waiting if we couldn’t solve his problem in the store. So I had to know what the customer wanted in order to know if we could help him immediately or not.
When I was not assigned to this role at the reception desk I had to take care of the customers myself or redirect them to a colleague. I had to plan in advance which colleague to redirect the customer to. The overall queue had to be broken down into individual queues for each employee. Some of my colleagues were in charge of the technical part, while others were in charge of the private or professional part. On a personal level I had to be able to handle the after-sales service (SAV), some requests from private individuals and the checkout. The activities associated with the after-sales service were the restitution, the exchange or the loan of material.
As a sales consultant trainee, I had to find a tailor-made solution and accompany the customer. It was important to know the services we offered, the products we sold, the stocks we had (inventory carried out every morning) in order to recommend and offer the best alternative to the customer. In addition to this knowledge, we had to know how to defend our products and services against those of our competitors. During this consulting phase, my general knowledge in new technologies was useful. It allowed me to understand what I was selling and to give details to the customer that are not necessarily available in the store.
In conclusion, my experience with Orange was crucial in my development as an engineer. During this internship I developed my patience, my sense of understanding, my efficiency and my expression in front of a customer. I will take the lessons and skills I learned and apply them to my next position.