3 steps to free your customers from compromises.

Eliminate customer pain points—and change your industry.

In the wireless business, it’s tradition to force compromises on the customer. From making it difficult to switch carriers or try out the product, to up-charging for the latest technological advancements, the burden on the customer is historically an onerous one.

In fact, just about every industry asks its customers to compromise in some way. For example:

  • Cable companies make their customers stay at home for the duration of a four- or five-hour window to wait for a service tech to arrive.
  • Healthcare patients are often in the dark about the cost of a procedure until after the fact, when they receive the bill.
  • Airlines ask their customers to compromise by charging extra to check a bag.

For T-Mobile to continually weed out the compromises entrenched in our industry, it takes an entrepreneurial mindset, a completely new approach, and fresh thinking—the kind of thinking any business needs to undertake to compete for customers today without asking them to compromise.

T-Mobile's Un-carrier strategy is founded on the premise that customers shouldn’t have to make concessions to get what they need and want. And by making changes that eliminate the compromises wireless customers are used to, we can disrupt the industry, setting an example that drives those changes through every competitor’s business, too.

Allan Samson, SVP – Marketing, T-Mobile for Business, puts it this way: “Our company has always made a point of targeting the compromises this industry has traditionally asked customers to make. We do it to make the experience better for our customers. But when the other carriers have to follow suit to be able to compete, we’ve ultimately made the experience better for their customers, too. That changes the whole industry in positive ways. That’s the kind of leadership we strive for. It’s what we mean when we say we’re ‘changing wireless for good.’”

Here are three big steps to take if you want to eliminate compromises for your customers and change your industry for good.

Step 1: Identify key customer pain points.

Start with your own instincts as a consumer and put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Then validate what you think you know with a little research. You’ll quickly discover just what it is you’re asking your customers to do that they would rather not. What are you expecting them to go without? How are you making them change their behavior? What are you forcing them to wait for, pay extra for, or jump through hoops for?

One thing we know at T-Mobile for Business: It’s notoriously difficult for a business to switch carriers. To get newly provisioned phones into the hands of many users, often in different locations and with different requirements, to get those phones all set up and loaded with the apps they need, and to get the employees trained on the new devices—it’s a huge logistical undertaking, with a lot of hoops to jump through.

But does it have to be? That’s the question we asked. Says Samson, “It shouldn’t be hard to switch. Historically, carriers haven’t been too concerned about it, because the harder it is to switch, the harder it is for their own customers to leave them. And everyone wants to limit churn. But ultimately that attitude backfires, because it’s a negative for the customer.”

That’s why we created the No-Stress Switch. We made a decision to take the pain of switching away from the customer, providing them with a dedicated implementation professional to manage the whole process for them. We can even survey users to ensure we’ve met all implementation requirements and delivered best-in-class service.

It wasn’t easy and we didn’t come up with the solution overnight. But it works, and it removes a major pain point for our customers.

Step 2: Reimagine the customer experience without the compromise.

Here’s where you get creative. Ask the question: What would the customer experience be if the pain point didn’t exist? What would that look like? What would it take to make that happen? And what functional areas within the organization would need to work together to pull it off?

Another compromise wireless customers have had to make is having to commit to switching before really validating the network and service. As one enterprise IT director said, “We want to do as much testing as possible—even city by city, we want to do proof of concept, where we have a large site. Just to make sure we get the best for the buck.”

We brainstormed what a risk-free trial would look like. How would it work? As an IT pro or business decision maker, you need to know that switching to our network will be a winning move, not a costly mistake. So much is on the line—your budget, your job, even your professional reputation. It’s not a decision you can afford to take lightly. You need to be sure.

So we had to take the risk out of it. We needed a way to test out the network without commitment. It took a cross-functional team effort, but we were determined, so we found the way. Today, our aptly named No-Risk Network Trial is exactly what it sounds like: no risk.

Samson sums it up. “We stand behind our network, and we believe your business ought to be able to take it for a test drive. If you’re going to commit dollars to a network, you should be able to first have confidence in it. This shouldn’t be a guessing game.” 

Step 3: Anticipate future pain points.

As your business evolves, always consider what new compromises you’re asking your customers to make. Be forward thinking and make these considerations a part of your process.

Sometimes new technology will raise the possibility of a new customer compromise. For us, we recently had to consider how we were going to bring our new 5G network to market. Our competitors were charging more for the technology. That approach felt like a customer compromise to us.

Samson explains our decision. “From the beginning, even before we launched our 5G network, we made a commitment to not charge extra for 5G access. We saw the other carriers launch their initial 5G networks with a premium tier price. But 5G shouldn’t cost more.” 

Take the lead.

When you make a disruptive change that eliminates a compromise customers are used to making, get ready for fast followers. Your competitors will follow you in making that change. They’ll have to, in order to stay competitive.

That’s a good thing, because it means your business is an agent of meaningful positive change in your industry—change that has the potential to help grow the category. And that kind of leadership is a benefit not only for your industry’s customers, but also for your company’s own brand and market share.

“Our company has always made a point of targeting the compromises this industry has traditionally asked customers to make.”

Allan Samson, SVP – Marketing, T-Mobile for Business
Discover more about how we’re eliminating compromises for our customers.
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