- Change – While generally change is good, failing to consult with the reps on changes that management has in mind will always be negative. Especially in a call center environment. You are programmed to act, react and be a certain way on the phones. Then they change everything and aim for scripts and force a new “you have to say this” rule down your throat or you are punished. This was very apparent just before I left the company and shortly after.
- Reduction in call time – While from a business stance, more calls per rep during a shift is better for expenses, it is a fail in the long run. If over the course of 6 months I have managed to bring my call times down from say 430, which is in second per call, to 390, what corners am I cutting for the customer to make my bonus. Am I building the connection, taking the time to address current issues and potential underlying issues? Nope. I am solving why you called to get you off the phone so my supervisor doesn’t wonder why it is taking me 6 minutes to get you off the phone.
- One Call Resolution – Known internally as OCR. This is a direct tie into the previous issue. Solving issues before they are issues and addressing your ‘underlying’ reason for calling helps prevent you from calling back. If you call back into customer care with in a certain amount of time, which I believe was 24 hours when I was there, my OCR would increase. Regardless of it was for some completely different issue or question or to fix something that I failed to fix. This directly affects J.D. Powers and also directly affects the reps standing and stats.
- Sales – Yes, I completely understand that T-mobile and all carriers, primary means of profit is services. You may not know that though. When you sign a two-year contract for service to get a device at a discount, it takes the company, on average, 20 months before your account makes them money. That money in turn pays for new devices, R&D, tower upgrades, expansion and new services. Getting customers to add new services to their account that aren’t necessary, selling them additional accessories they don’t need or pushing service that you know they don’t need is bad business, but business none the less.
All of these are easily a few contributing factors on why T-Mobile has since dropped to last place for J.D. Powers & Associates. We could go into detail on how reps have lost their motivation to go the extra mile because of the recent 7 call center closures, or the fact that we know T-mobile has since outsourced a HUGE chunk of customer care to other countries. We could also touch on the fact the while the training process for T-mobile call center employees is second to none in the industry, they have a very lazy approach to future development and training. For instance, They felt the Nexus One wasn’t a big deal. Even though call volume for information on that device was extremely high. In my center, I was pulled off the phones often to train teams across the center on what the device was, how it worked and why it was important. FYI, getting customers to buy non-contacted devices means instant account profits for the carrier. While they may say they don’t like it, they like the money that they produce. Which is why T-Mobile has no issues starting accounts for customers with unlocked iPhones.
So in a nutshell, why did T-Mobile go from the best customer service provider in the cell industry to last place. Because they need money and are failing. Even with the huge settlement they got after the planned AT&T merger failure, they are losing money constantly. Which is another reason Duetche Telecom entertained the offer from AT&T to begin with. It was a win win for them as owners.
Will T-Mobile continue to be around in the future? I sure as heck hope so. Even with the corporate garbage that happens in all corporate American companies, T-Mobile is still a great company. But the values that they force down employees throats aren’t being lived by upper management. Some of you may know these.
- I am T-mobile count on me
- Customer delight drives our actions
- Team together team apart
- Go big stay scrappy
- Leaders personally coach and develop leaders
- Respect and integrity guide our behavior
- Best place to perform and grow
Since as a whole, T-Mobile exec’s are failing to live by these standards to bring profits back up, how can they expect the front line employees to do the same. Will you find some great representatives that will go above and beyond all expectations, that will look to make your bill inexpensive as possible and who will give the best experience you have every had with a customer service agent? Absolutely. Sadly, many of those employees have lost their jobs, or soon will because they can’t make the grade in terms of profitability. Why pay a great rep who makes every call a delightful experience $16 an hour when they can pay one rep $9 an hour to push though more calls? It is all business and in my opinion, it is, and always will be, the wrong approach to success.