I’ve been a fan of T-Mobile since the day AT&T pushed me away with a logic-defying pricing model (see below).  That admiration continues today with the introduction of a set of initiatives that improve the experience by asking the customer to do less.

This article summarizes the key points nicely.  Interestingly, the improvements do not come because of what T-Mobile is adding to the experience.  Rather, life got better because of what customers need no longer do.  For example, with T-Mobile’s new Team of Experts concept customers avoid:

  • Mysterious and complicated phone trees (“for customer service, press 3”). You’ve all been down these dead-end paths before and know what I mean.  They clearly “add value” to companies which can now spin their customers in circles automatically.
  • Being handed off from representative to representative ad nauseam – really. This is spinning customers in circles manually.
  • Inconvenient call backs – I actually liked the idea many companies implemented so that a phone system will call you back when they have an agent ready to speak with you but T-Mobile points out the folly in this “convenience” and takes the notion a step further to permit you to schedule a time when it is convenient for you to take a call.  Basically matching their resource to your availability.  (Not making you available when they have a resource.  A small nuance, but a big difference.)

The pivot point is that customer-friendly improvements come from putting yourself in the customer’s shoes to determine what to add (or subtract) from an experience to make it better.  I’ll end by agreeing with the author – let’s hope T-Mobile’s Team of Experts concept forces other carriers to improve or lose market share.


(AT&T’s logic-defying pricing model)

Years ago I [effectively] financed a new phone by agreeing to pay the minutes/data/etc. fee + an additional fee to purchase the phone.  For example, a $480 phone might add $20/month for 24 months.  All was good for the first 24 months.  On Month 25, I expected the $20 fee to be removed since now the phone was mine.  When challenged on this point, AT&T informed me that my total bill would remain the same even though I’d paid for the phone.   So, Month 25 with AT&T became Month 1 with T-Mobile and the rest, as I like to say, is customer bliss.

Mini pivot point – Hate your service?  Change!

Improving the Experience by Asking Customers to Do Less

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