I walked into an AT&T store this past weekend to add a new test line and had an interesting experience. I have never really had anything bad to say about AT&T store employees except for a little incompetence but something new happened this time. When I left the store the helpful employee walked me to the door and insisted to open the door for me. He then kindly asked me to submit a 10/10 rating for him on an email survey I would receive shortly and told me “a 10 was the only passing score.” (Which I was glad to do)
At first I thought it was a one off thing and maybe this guy was just trying to be smooth. I then happened to read on Business Insider that this was a larger change where “AT&T phone stores the sales people were walking their customers to the front door and thanking them for their purchase.” While looking into that I found AT&T employees discussing the new policy where employees are written up by their manager if they don’t walk customers to the door. They also mentioned “5 Key Behaviors” which was something I had never heard of before so I did some more digging…
Turns out that AT&T has been kind enough to share their “Our Retail Promise” with the world. Their whole retail employees strategy is available for everybody at ourretailpromise.com/mobi/. The irony is that they put a disclaimer on the bottom saying it is proprietary and for internal use only.
In the spirit of including everybody in the AT&T family here are the 5 Key Behaviors they emphasize:
All retail employees can make customer interactions personal and memorable by delivering an extraordinary experience to every customer, every time.
- Welcome customers to the store with a warm, friendly and genuine greeting.
- Use the customer’s name whenever possible.
- Give customers your undivided attention.
- Maintain a positive attitude with every customer.
- Walk customers toward the door, thank them, and give a warm, friendly goodbye.
This is all nice and dandy though AT&T is kind enough to go into further detail on these in their Retail Experience guidelines:
We follow The AT&T Retail Experience which details the six simple steps of our sales and service process – and throughout the process we apply the 5 Key Behaviors to deliver an extraordinary customer experience that’s smart, friendly and fast.
Greet and Approach
- Provide a warm, friendly and genuine greeting within seconds of the customer’s arrival.
- Introduce yourself with a smile and learn the customer’s name.
- Ask the purpose of the customer’s visit to ensure we provide fast, efficient service.
- Assure the customer we can assist with their needs and encourage them to interact with our products.
- Connect with the customer by using their name and giving your undivided attention.
- Be enthusiastic and demonstrate a positive "I can help" attitude.
- Ask qualifying questions and listen carefully to understand the customer’s needs.
- If the customer asks for a specific product, find out why and ensure it meets their needs.
- Maintain eye contact, avoid distractions and confirm understanding of the customer’s needs.
- Offer personalized solutions based on the customer’s needs.
- Match the right product to each customer, not the product you personally prefer.
- Adjust your pace and style to the customer’s mood, tone and technical knowledge.
- Don’t focus only on our products, leverage The AT&T Advantages.
- If the customer comes in with a problem, own it and do all you can to solve it during their visit.
- Recap the solution you have proposed.
- Listen and respond clearly to questions and objections.
- Inform your customer about what you are doing when using tools or when you need to step away.
- As you complete the transaction, ensure you’ve provided a complete solution.
- When assisting with a service issue, let the customer know what was done to fix it.
- Set up and demonstrate the device so the customer is confident and ready to go.
- Be sure to set up email, voicemail, social networks and transfer contacts.
- Show the customer how to navigate their device, access applications and use preferred features.
- Direct customers to online tutorials for more information.
- Review the Customer Service Summary to set expectations and avoid unpleasant surprises.
- Confirm the customer understands and is satisfied with the transaction.
Thank & Depart
- Verify the customer’s needs were met: "Is there anything else I can help you with today?"
- Present your business card, invite the customer to call with questions and ask the customer for referrals.
- Walk the customer toward the door, thank them and give a warm, friendly goodbye.
- Take advantage of this final opportunity to use the customer’s name – and to make a lasting impression of courtesy and caring.
On the other hand I kind of like AT&T’s Retail Promise:
I promise to deliver an extraordinary customer experience by consistently following the steps of The AT&T Retail Experience and applying the 5 Key Behaviors to every customer, every time.
Or better yet the Vision, Brand, & Rules that state the AT&T customer rules:
Our Company Vision – To connect people with their world everywhere they live and work and do it better than anyone else.
Our Brand – Rethink Possible® drives our curious, open, inventive and purposeful brand. It’s an invitation to customers, urging them to rethink their own perceptions of what’s possible.
The AT&T Customer Rules!
These guiding principles place the customer at the center of all that we do. We make the Rules! real with every customer, every time.
- Take Ownership and Show We Care – We value our customers, and we let them know it by all we do.
- Be Responsive and Deliver – We listen to customers and deliver with speed.
- Do It Right – We deliver with quality the first time, every time.
- Make It Seamless – AT&T has many parts, but to our customers we are one team.
- Meet Our Commitments – We communicate, follow through, and work hard to keep our promises.
Check out the full Our Retail Promise site including the videos (use the Android video option) at ourretailpromise.com/mobi/. The first welcome video is one of the creepiest things I have ever seen in awhile but they might be on to something with these five key behaviors. Wireless carriers are starting to loose many of their differentiators and something like solid customer service could help AT&T stick out in the crowd. Something that T-Mobile has been doing for years and will hopefully continue doing if acquired by AT&T.
PS: I found the whole site very enlightening but was annoyed to learn that they support iOS and Android for video but not BlackBerrys for their employees. The irony is that the Android video works just fine on a BlackBerry. I guess RIM should be thinking twice about “protecting their carrier relationship” when the carrier clearly could give a hoot.