article |
Telecom Convergence: Changing the Conversation

Why Customer Experience Should Matter to You

Who cares about customer experience? I do. And you should, too. Here's why: Customer experiences of all types—from the purchase process to service to marketing communications and everything in between—cumulatively impact retention, loyalty, recommendations, upsell, and a host of other areas that ultimately improve bottom-line performance. Consider my experiences with T-Mobile:

Customer service: My first mobile phone was a lemon. I had to phone T-Mobile several times; each time the support staff walked me through a quick fix. After concluding that the quick fixes were more of a Band-Aid than a resolution, T-Mobile replaced the handset.

Acting on customer feedback: About five years ago I wanted to upgrade my handset. I was aghast that I would have to pay $200 more than new customers for the same handset. I searched online for the name of the vice president of marketing for the U.S., and emailed him asking why I was being penalized for being a loyal customer who stayed, upgraded, and recommended? Within 24 hours I had the handset and the new customer price. But that's not where it ends. I'm sure I wasn't the only one complaining. Within a few weeks T-Mobile's website was updated to better explain its pricing; within a few months its pricing itself was updated.

Price: T-Mobile has had competitive, and often better, pricing than any of its competitors for the plan type that's best for me.

Reach: Jealous that a friend's phone worked in my basement but mine didn't, I considered switching carriers. While researching options, I received a communication from T-Mobile about local upgrades to its network. Voila! I can now use my own phone in my basement.

Keeping pace with technology: T-Mobile has a user-friendly website where I've signed up for EZ Pay, a debit payment service; I've checked past statements and upgraded services; and I easily track my daughter's phone use. Additionally, the company uses SMS to send payment alerts, to remind me that I'm roaming when traveling, and to follow-up with a satisfaction survey after a service call.

Rewarding loyalty: As a thank-you for my continued patronage, T-Mobile awarded me two round-trip, domestic plane tickets.

Staying connected: I can call, text, or email from anywhere—a conference center in Turkey, a beach in Portugal, even my basement. Of course, I can send photos from anywhere, too.

T-Mobile's focus on customer experience—and the many actions it has taken in my best interest—has gained my trust and loyalty. As a result, I've remained a customer for nearly 10 years, recommended T-Mobile to friends and family (who are now also T-Mobile customers), and upgraded handsets and services many times.

If customer experience isn't a concern at your company, it should be. Because when it is, you'll have loyal, profitable customers like me who stick with you through economic ups and downs, market changes, and toughest of all, competitive offers.