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T-Mobile announced its latest “Un-carrier” initiative today in a fresh attempt to gain new subscribers and lure customers away from rival providers. And it focuses on a crucial, but less flashy subject than the company’s past splashes: customer service. From a stage in Charleston, South Carolina — and after being escorted into the room by a marching band — CEO John Legere kicked off an event that led to the announcement of Team of Experts, a new approach to customer service that will give customers in different regions of the US their own dedicated “team” of customer care representatives who offer quick, efficient assistance. No robot voices and no confusing tree of push-button menus.
Team of Experts launches today for T-Mobile’s postpaid customers. It can be accessed by dialing 611 or by messaging directly from the T-Mobile app or iMessage using Apple Business Chat. For now, Team of Experts is English-only, but it will be available in Spanish in early 2019.
“The first thing I did when I became CEO of this company is I spent every night sitting at home listening to both sides of customer service calls,” Legere said. “I listed, we acted, and we heard. That’s the foundation for what we’re going to do today.”
Moments later, T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert took the stage to criticize the “massive digital fortress between you and the people who can help you” that is a central part of customer service from most major companies. T-Mobile recruited Rainn Wilson to film a pretty great spot (seen above) that showcases average, miserable customer service experiences. Sievert pointed to bots, call center runarounds, and obvious, unhelpful reminders about finding answers on the internet as widespread problems.
Then came Callie Field, T-Mobile’s executive VP of customer care, who said “we’ve fixed it,” and went into the details of Team of Experts.