Iconic downtown Telenor shop gets facelift and doubles as open working space

Personal customer service to remain important in a different way 

Telenor commissioned an award-winning Hungarian interior design studio to redesign its downtown shop and give it a new urban function. In the future, the retail shop of the mobile operator will double as an open office space. Although the importance of online customer service has grown during the lockdown, face-to-face shopping continues to be popular for all age groups. The shop has been redesigned in line with evolving market needs. Astoria has become an iconic site for Telenor over the past 25 years. In 1994, this was the company’s first independent shop to open and it still has the largest floor space of all shops in Telenor’s retail network.

The shop was closed before the lockdown and it has been reopened with a completely new design after the restrictions were lifted. As a result of the reconstruction, a unique space was created with the atmosphere of a café yet equipped with the latest high-tech solutions. The shop was redesigned to reconnect with nature and provide an enhanced customer experience. Although online customer service has been more widely adopted during the coronavirus pandemic, personal contact is still important for customers. At Telenor, the footfall of shops reached 90% of pre-lockdown levels in a few weeks after restrictions were lifted. 

“Customer service has been an important strategic area to Telenor for years. This is why the shop was redesigned with enhanced customer experience in mind. The sales experience is equally important. If in-shop colleagues are motivated by the environment, customers will also benefit. The new functionality of the shop was created to respond to this need”, said Gábor Oláh, Consumer Sales Director of Telenor Hungary. 

Telecommunications experience and coworking space 

Besides being a point of sale, the shop will double as an open community space where anybody can book a desk or one of three meeting rooms. Telenor offers a fast on-the-go solution rather than an office facility for a longer stay. As part of the service, visitors will get not only a desk and a chair but also an office infrastructure including power supply and free broadband Hipernet access. With this step, Telenor has left the traditional playing field of telecommunications companies offering an alternative solution in a new market. Open working spaces used by today’s digitally independent workforce are increasingly common all over the world. In the Telenor Astoria shop, desk space will be available with preliminary registration for up to three hours to spend time usefully in between two meetings in downtown Budapest. The coworking space will be opened by Telenor when life gets back to normal and a larger number of people can spend time together safely in an indoor environment.

The redesign project was implemented by Pyxis Nautica, a young Hungarian business and winner of the “Interior Design Studio of the Year” award. The 180-square-meter customer space was extended to 276 square meters by the team and, it was decorated with a green wall, wooden surfaces and partly recycled furniture to help visitors reconnect with nature.

Besides traditional IT solutions such as a digital queue management system, the shop will feature several new solutions to help staff understand what’s going on in the shop environment. Using them, they will be able to track the popularity of individual handsets and tablets with visitors, measure the waiting time spent in different parts of the shops and identify the purpose of visits (using services, inquiry, gathering information). The anonymous data provided by these state-of-the-art solutions will enable Telenor to provide an outstanding customer experience.

Facts and figures abut Telenor Astoria:

  • 4,200 meters of electric cabling
  • 402 square meters of plywood 
  • More than 200 plants and a green wall of 14 square meters 
  • 21 displays
  • Partly recycled chairs and fully recycled flower pots. 

Time lapse video about the shop: https://youtu.be/5kj4jbcJ8p4