Looking for ideas to improve business results by changing the customer experience? Many improvement opportunities are at your fingertips right now if you are willing to talk with your customers and break a few rules.
Several years ago T-Mobile took this “revolutionary” approach with dramatic results. (Their efforts continue.) By speaking with customers and prospects about the aspects of mobile telephony that were most irksome, they came up with a list of things to change. By re-writing the rules and making these changes T-Mobile acquired new customers, earned loyalty from existing customers, and won market share from the competition. Here are few examples of customer pain points that T-Mobile removed:
- Confusing and lengthy service contracts – instead T-Mobile eliminated contracts and permitted customers to pay month-to-month. One analysis I read said that by doing this T-Mobile lost the “key trigger” of knowing when to engage customers to renew their annual contracts. As if this was the sole time a company should engage with customers!
- Unclear demarcations between phone and phone service charges – instead T-Mobile unbundled the cost of the phone from the monthly service. Now, customers can pay for the phone up front or via monthly payments.
- Unneeded, unused, thus expensive data – instead T-Mobile introduced a “Kickback” program to credit customers up to $10 a month for their unused data.
- Byzantine and expensive international data roaming – instead T-Mobile offers free international data roaming to over 100 countries.
John Legere, T-Mobile’s maverick CEO put it this way,
“… if you ask your customers what they want and you give it to them, you shouldn’t be shocked if they love it.”
The pivot point is that you can win customers and transform the market by breaking conventional rules. Any one (or all) of Verizon, AT&T or Sprint could have taken these steps to disrupt the market. The fact that they didn’t is a sign that they are still living in the monopolistic days of old.