In its latest Un-carrier move, T-Mobile takes aim at the frustrating issue of customer service.
At the Un-Carrier event in South Carolina on Wednesday, T-Mobile announced a nationwide expansion of its “Team of Experts” customer service strategy. Eschewing familiar interactive voice response (IVR) menus and chatbots, T-Mobile instead is providing groups of 30 to 40 customer service reps that are dedicated to a particular community or area, with the promise of no call bouncing or transferring customers from one rep to another.
Customers can contact the service team via phone, text message or the T-Mobile app, and rather than wait on hold they have the ability to schedule a call for a later time.
EVP of Customer Care Callie Field said while the company will use technology like AI when appropriate, “we never want to use tech to pull us further away.”
Compared to earlier Un-carrier announcements, Recon Analytics founder and analyst Roger Entner told Wireless Week that the latest one was a bit underwhelming.
“Customer service is a churn inhibitor, not an attraction factor,” Entner said. “People switch for price, quality, and only then [customer] service.”
So while carriers with good customer service can keep customers from leaving, it’s not typically something that will bring new customers in, Entner explained.
T-Mobile also indicated that customers would interact with the same team of people each time they call back, but Entner raised the question as to why that is necessary if the problem is fixed the first time.
“There shouldn’t be a repeat customer service call,” Entner said, adding that if there is, it means something is going wrong with the customer service.
T-Mobile CEO John Legere teased at the end of the event that the carrier will be launching TV capabilities, potentially a few months from now – and to Entner, that is when the customer service aspect will become interesting. This is because cable operators are often known for very low customer satisfaction and subscribers could have another option as T-Mobile enters the market offering better customer service, according to Entner.
In addition to the change in its customer service strategy, T-Mobile also announced an exclusive multi-year partnership with Live Nation to provide customers with tickets to sold-out shows across the country, and perks like fast lane entry, $25 lawn tickets and exclusive concession stands.
Starting Aug. 21, T-Mobile customers will also receive Pandora Plus for free for the next year.