CHARLESTON, S.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Real customer service takes real people. T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) today launched T-Mobile Team of Experts nationwide and turned traditional customer care on its head. T-Mobile’s latest Un-carrier move takes aim at the biggest pain point yet – the old, broken customer care model that has frustrated Americans for decades. With Team of Experts, when you call or message T-Mobile, you get a tight-knit team dedicated to you and others in your city. There are no robots or automated phone menus. No getting bounced around from department to department. No shouting “representative.” You now have your own entourage at T-Mobile dedicated to you and your happiness. You can even see a photo of your Team of Experts in the T-Mobile App on iOS and Android.
And, T-Mobile also announced that your rock star status extends beyond the Un-carrier with upgrades at Live Nation shows and with Pandora music.
“‘Your call is important to us’ are the six emptiest words ever robo-spoken,” said John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile. “People are fed up with horrible customer service that puts cost control ahead of customer happiness. While other brands mechanize customer service, we’re going the other way – no bots, no bouncing, no BS. With Team of Experts, we’re tearing up the traditional playbook, killing the phone menu and putting people at the center of customer care, like they should be. Because at T-Mobile, our customers have always been rock stars to us.”
Team of Experts: Real Help Takes Real People
T-Mobile Team of Experts is a radical re-invention and changes everything about the customer experience by putting people first. When you call or message, you get straight to a team dedicated to you. Rather than investing in avoiding customers with bots and automated phone menus, the Un-carrier is making a huge investment in serving customers with highly-skilled, highly-motivated people.
Team of Experts is rock star treatment whenever you need help. It means:
- The end of robots and phone menus – T-Mobile is killing the automated phone menu. You’ll never be forced to talk to a robot, IVR (Interactive Voice Response) or machine again – unless you just want to! When you call or message, you’re routed straight to your Team of Experts, or you can tell your team when to call you.
- The end of the call center runaround – Traditional call centers randomly route you to reps who are overly-specialized to solve just one kind of issue and goaled on Average Handle Time (aka how fast they can hang up or transfer you). That means customers get bounced from department to department, forced to repeat themselves over and over. With Team of Experts, you’ve got people dedicated to you and your happiness, and they’re highly-trained to handle a wide range of topics, sometimes working with specialists including local retail and engineering to solve even the most complex issues.
- The end of being told when and how you can get help – Most brands tell you how and when you can reach them. At AT&T and Verizon, forget calling outside of office hours … they won’t pick up. Team of Experts is on your terms – you can call 24/7, schedule a call-back and soon, just ask Alexa or Google to have your Team of Experts call you. Plus, the Un-carrier has launched asynchronous messaging for all T-Mobile customers in the T-Mobile App and iMessage. Instead of waiting for a rep, you are in control. Message your Team with an issue, and they’ll get right to work on it. But you don’t have to wait. Come back to it whenever works for you.
“Team of Experts isn’t just better customer service. It’s an entirely new way of thinking about customers … one that puts your happiness at the center of everything we do,” said Callie Field, EVP of Customer Care at T-Mobile. “Some brands attempt to give high-dollar customers the kind of treatment we give everyone with Team of Experts. Because at T-Mobile, we think just being our customer makes you a rock star. Team of Experts is ‘one percenter’ treatment for the rest of us!”
Team of Experts is now live for T-Mobile postpaid customers for free and is being rolled out to every business and public-sector customer, too. Customers can reach their team however they want, but the optimal way is to call 611 from your T-Mobile phone or message from the T-Mobile App or iMessage using Apple Business Chat.
“T-Mobile’s Team of Experts is the most exciting development I’ve seen in a decade of studying customer experience. Other brands use this model for their very most elite customers – like the airlines’ elite platinum plus programs – or large B2B accounts, but it’s radical for a brand to give every customer this level of service,” said Matt Dixon, former Gartner and Korn Ferry customer experience analyst and current Chief Product and Research Officer of Tethr. “But, T-Mobile’s results – dramatically higher customer and employee satisfaction and lower costs – demonstrate how much potential there is for big brands to think differently about customer care.”
Customers are fed up with traditional customer service. 80% of customers aren’t satisfied with how businesses respond to their problems, and no wonder – today’s customer service experience is a maddening mess of navigating phone menus, talking to robots, listening to bad hold music and getting bounced from department to department, repeating yourself over and over again. 90% of consumers say they never want to talk to an IVR – at all.1 Yet, brands spent $3.73 billion on this hated technology last year.2 And, once you get through the automated phone menu, get ready for a LOT of instrumental soft jazz – the average American will waste 12 days on hold with customer service throughout their lifetime.3 Once you finally reach a human, nearly 40% of calls in wireless are transferred,4 forcing you to start the cycle over again and repeat yourself to the next rep.
Once you’ve navigated the customer support maze and are finally talking to the right rep, it’s entirely transactional – because that’s the cheapest way for corporations to handle you. So, the second you hang up, that rep is done with you...maybe forever. If you call back, you start the maddening process all over again.
This is how most companies today define “service.” Not so, with Team of Experts.
In a time when most brands are mechanizing customer interactions with bots and artificial intelligence, T-Mobile is investing in people. You call, you get a smart capable human, and your Team of Experts has all the people needed to solve most any issue. Yes, T-Mobile just made the best service in wireless even better.
Customer Results: 56% Increase in Net Promoter Score (NPS)
The Un-carrier spent over two years testing and optimizing Team of Experts with smaller customer groups and businesses before launching nationwide today. Those early results are incredible! With Team of Experts, Net Promoter Score (NPS) – or likelihood to recommend – increased an unprecedented 56%,5 putting T-Mobile on par with other brands famous for their customer care.
Two weeks ago, the Un-carrier also received J.D. Power’s highest score EVER given in full-service wireless customer care – yet again. That’s right – the “Highest in Customer Service among Full Service Wireless Providers, Two Times in a Row.” And that’s all before today’s nationwide Team of Experts launch!
Employee Results: Eighteen Best Place to Work Awards
Not only are call centers bad for customers, they aren’t great for employees, either. The churn and burn of call after call with irate, phone-menu-frustrated customers is a tough, thankless job that most don’t keep for long. Call center rep is one of the highest turnover occupations in the country – more than twice the national average. And, call centers are big employers! There are nearly 2.8 million call center reps in the U.S. … almost 1 in 56 working Americans!6
With Team of Experts, T-Mobile invested even more deeply in making customer care a true career – with more training, more opportunities for advancement, more empowerment to do what’s right for customers, customer-focused incentives and redesigned physical spaces that look more like Valley startups than phone bank cube farms. And the Experts love it – in fact, T-Mobile customer experience centers were named a best place to work 18 times, just in 2017 alone! Turnover in T-Mobile’s care team is down a remarkable 48% in the last three years, and the company has an incredible 90% internal promotion rate in customer care.
Business Results: Big Investment with Big ROI
Because nobody else is doing care this way, T-Mobile had to create a radically different model…and Team of Experts is a big investment that’s paying off big time. In Q2 of 2018 – even before Team of Experts went live nationwide today – customer service costs for postpaid were the lowest in company history due to fewer calls per account and callbacks – making Team of Experts a win, not just for customers and employees, but for shareholders, too.
“Something this big isn’t done overnight. It starts with a customer experience obsessed culture, and a mindset that says customer happiness is job #1,” said Mike Sievert, President and COO at T-Mobile. “Team of Experts is a massive investment, but like all our Un-carrier moves, we made it based on a firmly held belief that doing what’s right for customers is the same thing as what’s right for our business. Team of Experts was a risk, but one of the smartest risks we’ve ever taken.”
Changing the Industry … and Beyond
Because Team of Experts is such a win for customers, employees and shareholders, T-Mobile also announced they’ll share the Team of Expert blueprints to help other companies (ahem, AT&T, Charter, Comcast, Verizon) adopt the revolutionary Care model. That includes licensing several patent-pending technologies for free to anyone who commits to Team of Experts for all their customers. Because every customer of every product or service deserves to be treated like a rock star.
For more about Team of Experts, visit http://www.t-mobile.com/teamofexperts.
Team of Experts is for our postpaid wireless customers.
About T-Mobile US, Inc.
As America’s Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. Our advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 75.6 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and value. Based in Bellevue, Washington, T-Mobile US provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile and MetroPCS. For more information, please visit http://www.t-mobile.com.
1 Boston University funded by Interactions, llc., April 2016
2 Markets and Markets: Interactive Voice Response Market, 2017
3 Marchex, February 2016
4 HarrisX, May 2018
5 T-Mobile internal data from Medallia, January 2016 to March 2018
6 Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016, & workforce data, EOY 2017