SuperNova Award Category
Next Generation Customer Experience
As America’s Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: “TMUS”) is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The company’s advanced nationwide 4G and 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences for customers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and value. Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile US operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile and MetroPCS. It currently serves approximately 43 million wireless subscribers and provides products and services through 70,000 points of distribution.
Over the past decade, we have seen mobile phones evolve from basic devices that simply allowed us to place a phone call while away from home to complex, sophisticated handheld computers that provide wireless data services, like email, picture and text messaging, and internet browsing, along with countless apps, high-definition cameras, GPS technology, voice and face recognition, and numerous other features. To further complicate matters, no two devices are alike, with variances in platform type, software versions, hardware specifications, and pre-loaded applications and services. Altogether, these changes have made it increasingly challenging to create positive experience for our 43 million customers, whether they are visiting a T-Mobile store or calling into our customer service centers, because our representatives have to find the right answer quickly among hundreds of steps and troubleshooting flows for our different devices and provide a simple path from questions and solutions for our customers.
According to J.D. Power, the knowledge of a mobile carrier’s service personnel and their ability to resolve issues quickly are key to maintaining customer satisfaction, and we completely agree: issues should be resolved in a single call with the utmost courtesy and concern provided to every customer. To help us deliver on this commitment within an increasingly complex market, we transitioned in 2011 to T-Community, a social business solution built on the Jive platform. T-Community offers access to a content management system that not only provides answers to virtually every question customers might ask our thousands of retail and customer service representatives, but also enables teams to quickly and easily collaborate, share best practices, and learn from each other all across the organization. This past May, we upgraded our T-Community to the Jive 6 platform and used that opportunity to further incentivize participation by gamifying T-Community using the Jive Advanced Gamification Module power by Bunchball Nitro. This allowed T-Community members to earn points and badges for properly using T-Community, like reviewing training materials, answering questions, and liking content, and they can monitor their progress compared to other employees through a leaderboard showing where each of them rank among their peers.
There’s no other way to say it: this effort has taken off like wildfire. Among T-Community members, we saw participation increase 1,000 percent in the first six weeks after deploying the gamification module. More than 15,000 of our frontline employees completed different Getting Started missions in the first two weeks – a radical departure from the low adoption we’ve historically seen with self-guided learnings. Members were so active, so quick to adopt the platform that we awarded 187,000 badges in the first six weeks. And we saw likes – which we use to assessment the helpfulness of a response – increase a staggering 6,000 percent. So why does this create a next-generation customer experience? Because regardless of having to become acclimated with the platform changes within T-Community, all while taking phone calls from customers, we never saw call handling times increase – and in fact, we have seen our resolution rate and customer satisfaction scores improve each month since the platform upgrade. This shows that even in a disruptive environment where our frontline teams have to answer specific and often very difficult questions from confused and sometimes frustrated customers, they were able to grasp a new platform and never miss a beat. So customers in the store get their problems resolved on the spot, and customers on the phone get the answers they need on the first call. We do our job, and customers have a better day.
- Jive 6, Jive Software
- Jive Advanced Gamification Module, Jive Software
- Nitro Gamification Platform, Bunchball
- 1,000% participation increase in the first six weeks
- 187,000 badges awarded in the first six weeks
- 6,000% increase in Likes in the first six weeks
- Consistent month-over-month decrease in customer callbacks and increase in customer satisfaction scores since launch
We specifically motivate members to solve problems and collaborate on a peer-to-peer basis. While we still maintain a close moderating presence to encourage best practices and ensure proper tool usage, we’ve still seen support costs decrease and that the community self-governs well, making it more resonant and valuable to its members. Gamification helps reinforce these behaviors by doing things like rewarding users with more points when they search for answers to see what is already in T-Community from their co-workers instead of submitting a new post to ask a question about something that is answered elsewhere. We believe peer-to-peer communication and collaboration pushes T-Community to a new level, and gamification is helping us move it there.
It wasn’t long before we realized that the gamification data was revealing information about staff strengths and customer needs that we otherwise might not have seen. By rewarding members for properly using T-Community to find the answers to tough questions instead of escalating or transferring calls, or simply not resolving the issue, we have seen better performance, provided a better customer experience, and improved satisfaction across the board. We have also been able to better identify where customers were having problems with specific devices or features and are using that information to help us anticipate support questions and even provide feedback to manufacturers and developers to improve their products and services. And by tracking activities such as providing lots of highly rated answers, we can identify future stars within our customer service and support organization, and that naturally leads to better service.
A final note: T-Community has been so successful that we’ll soon be taking our next-generation customer experience directly to customers with a public version of this gamified environment aimed at engaging T-Mobile customers and promoting the peer-to-peer relationships that build value and loyalty.
“As America’s Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc. (NYSE: “TMUS”) is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The company’s advanced nationwide 4G and 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences for customers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and value. Based in Bellevue, Wash., T-Mobile US operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile and MetroPCS. It currently serves approximately 43 million wireless subscribers and provides products and services through 70,000 points of distribution.”