LIVE FROM CCA ANNUAL CONVENTION, FORT WORTH, TEXAS: T-Mobile US’ EVP of customer care revealed a third of recent iPhone 8 upgrade orders were placed through the operator’s app, as she highlighted the importance of a strong service strategy for mobile operators.

Callie Field (pictured) explained T-Mobile’s “Uncarrier” strategy leans “heavily” on simplicity, noting the operator places a distinct focus on meeting customers where they are, whether in the T-Mobile app, on social media or in a physical store, and providing easy avenues to solve their pain points.

“Everything that you need to fix it the first time is right there, working together to take endless responsibility for customer care,” Field said.

For example, Field noted T-Mobile customers can use the operator’s app to call or text customer service and set up an appointment. Customers can also access customer care on Twitter and other social media channels, she said.

T-Mobile made a point of strengthening its social media channel, growing an original team of seven in 2007 to more than 250 employees today. This outreach helped the company build 60 per cent more social interactions than AT&T, Verizon and Sprint, Field said.

All told, social interactions have jumped from 600,000 in 2014 to an expected 8 million by the end of this year. The increase, in turn, reduced the number of care calls per customer from 6 in 2011 to 4.1 in 2017, she added.

In response to customer demand, Field said T-Mobile is also growing its retail presence. The operator plans to launch its fifth flagship experience store (on the Las Vegas strip) in addition to other retail launches planned through the end of the year.

Field said the operator’s auto-pay enrollment rates are evidence of growing trust in the T-Mobile brand as a result of these efforts. Before the “Uncarrier” movement, Field said auto-pay participation stood at 4 per cent: today the figure stands at around 32 per cent, she said.