Yesterday I switched from T-Mobile onto another network provider. I have been their customer for 2 years. The experience inspired me to share my views as a customer and a customer experience consultant:

  • The start of your customer journey is brilliantly designed

Telecommunication companies make it very very hard for customers to leave. In fact, a complex set of variables (pricing, offers, terms and conditions etc.) are brilliantly designed to guide the customer choice into locking themselves with the provider. Choices offered when joining make it hard to resist signing up a long term contract since they burst with value and leave you feeling you got a killer deal and exactly what you wanted (or very very close to it). Not only you are swayed into committing long term, but you are happy to do it.

I personally experience that as I was deciding where to move on. The provider I decided to go with had decently customized options with the best value coming from the long-term offers. Much like what T-Mobile had to offer 2 years ago to me, and what they offer many customers today. In fact, the T-Mobile website is one of the better designed ones, conveying sense of simplicity, customization and clarity- 3 attributes that are key at this stage of the customer journey.

The artistry and dexterity applied by telecos in this initial step of the customer journey is an exemplar of what customer experience is about: getting customers happy while the business benefits.

  • When you try to leave they show you they care?

It s a practice for any loyalty based businesses to have a specially assembled team responsible for dealing with customers who have announced their intention to leave. Makes perfect sense and in fact there is a rule in Psychology called: Peak-end rule that implies that we judge our past experiences almost entirely on how they were at their peak (pleasant or unpleasant) and how they ended. Other information is not lost, but it is not used. This includes net pleasantness or unpleasantness and how long the experience lasted. This is true, only it applies to individual interactions along the customer journey, not the end of the journey itself. Furthermore, T-Mobile have no strategy in managing peak moments.

Here are the 5 interactions I had with them in the 2 years that I remember and consider key to my decision to switch:

Finally, not all customers are like me. My friend decided to stay but she got a very good deal out of them (read extra cost to the business). Until I can convince her my provider can do the same that is…

Remember 3 things:

  • What happens in between the start and end is more important than the end itself
  • Quantify and measure the you cost you get from running a call centre, or focusing on managing the experience vs. the cost you get from aggrieving customers
  • You are not required to change the way you run your business, just how you go about them.
Kalina Janevska , Kalina Janevska is a Consultant at Beyond Philosophy one of the world’s first organizations devoted to customer experience. Kalina is a chief experience modeller and designer with deep applied knowledge of CE in healthcare, retail and developing economies. Beyond Philosophy provide consulting, specialised research & training from offices in Atlanta, Georgia and London, England.

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