T-Mobile: Delivering Un-Carrier results in social support — Live from the Brands-Only Summit

Coverage of this session by Kristen Platt of SocialMedia.org. Connect with her by following her on Twitter.

2:50 — SocialMedia.org’s Lauren Clevenger introduces T-Mobile’s Michelle Mattson.

2:51 — Michelle: T-Mobile has 6 unique brands, 38,000 employees and over 50 million customers. “We have a lot of people to support.”

2:53 — Michelle talks about their consumer revolution and Un-Carrier. Currently, T-Mobile is America’s fastest growing wireless company. They are also #1 in customer service! In general, T-Mobile is an extremely social company.

2:54 — Michelle says they didn’t always have executive support, but since their new CEO, John Legere, came on board, they’ve been innovating in social media ever since.

2:55 — She quotes John saying, “Twitter is a significant reason why we are the fastest growing company in wireless.”

2:56 — Michelle: As we have gone through rapid Un-Carrier upgrades, we have to go to market in an extremely quick time.

2:57 — Michelle: Listen, engage, and resolve. It’s a repeatable and sustainable process. We have seen +927% social growth (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and support communities) and +616% social connections.

2:58 — We didn’t have the iPhone5 for a long time. Customers were very upset with us. But once we got it, our social activity increased immensely. We were listening to the positive feedback from customers and engaging and they loved it.

We went from 7 people to 40 people focusing on social media at our company. Since it’s structured from the top down, it’s very easy to react on social (especially with the right tools).

2:59 — Michelle talks tools: In 2012, we had a home grown solution.

3:00 — In 2013, we moved to Salesforce.com, and it wasn’t very useful for us. Then in 2014, we moved again to SAP, and again, we weren’t impressed.

3:01 — Our new tools: Sparkcentral (social customer service platform) & Netbase (social listening and particularly useful for social listening at events). It increased productivity, streamlined conversations, and enhanced reporting. Sparkcentral improved our response time from one hour to 10 minutes.

3:03 — Michelle talks about the launch of the iPhone6: +300 % increase in social volume. Sparkcentral allowed us to connect 60% faster than before with customers when they were buzzing about the new product.

3:05 — Netbase helped us with the BlackBerry switch campaign: T-Mobile customers were angry at first at the campaign, so the CEO tweeted that he heard their complaints and the positive sentiment went up. After modifying the campaign, John tweeted again about the changes and the positive sentiment went up even more.

3:07 — Michelle talks about their partners: T-Force works with PR, business intelligence, marketing, vendors, legal, and the executives (John is a big help).

3:08 — We are the #1 socially devoted brand on Facebook, +41,000 connections per month, 90% resolution rate, 90% call deflection.

3:09 — Michelle shares the blueprint for success:

  • Be a customer-centric organization!
  • Know the conversation: Know what is going on with your customers at all times
  • Understand the customer experience

Q & A

Q: How much authenticity do your employees get?

A: Michelle: We try and be as human as possible. John, our CEO, is very transparent with our audience.

Q: Is Sparkcentral a trial run or is that something you’ve invested in?

A: Michelle: We’ve invested in Sparkcentral fully. We weren’t happy with some of the bigger vendors, and Sparkcentral was an amazing resource for social customer service — especially with integrating the call center.

Q: How is your team structured, especially with different par?

A: Michelle: The social marketing team uses an agency, but in the future we’d all like to be using the same tool (Sparkcentral).

Q: How do you measure success for your call reps?

A: Michelle: We look at response times, team performance, what our surveys say, customer feedback, resolution, and how are we affecting sentiment on the properties we support.

Q: Where does social sit for servicing across different channels? Do you move customers to other channels besides social?

A: Michelle: We usually keep it on social media, unless we need to privately email them to resolve the issue. 50,000 social cases vs millions of cases in the call center.

Q: How are you surveying?

A: Michelle: We are not sending them out through social yet, but we did use Salesforce to email the customers. We are looking into DM and PM options through social media in the future.

Q: How do you feed info from social into your social marketing strategy?

A: Michelle: We send out bi-weekly reporting and regular meetings with our marketing department. We begin the week with a sync with them and we also assist with their editorial content meetings.

Q: How is your social team structured?

A: Michelle: We’re spread across the US. There are 34 T-Force managers working on social. I have call analysts and content folks, with three managers reporting to me.