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AT&T Store Employees 5 Key Behaviors – Good Customer Service?

5keybehaviors    att_cust_rules

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 The irony is that they put a disclaimer on the bottom saying it is proprietary and for internal use only.

AT&T store 2 AT&T Store

In the spirit of including everybody in the AT&T family here are the 5 Key Behaviors they emphasize:

5keybehaviors The 5 Key Behaviors

All retail employees can make customer interactions personal and memorable by delivering an extraordinary experience to every customer, every time.

  1. Welcome customers to the store with a warm, friendly and genuine greeting.
  2. Use the customer’s name whenever possible.
  3. Give customers your undivided attention.
  4. Maintain a positive attitude with every customer.
  5. 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:

Retail Experience

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.

Build Value

  • 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 Solutions

  • 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.

Gain Agreement

  • 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.

att_cust_rules 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 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.

7 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Good news. Now of they just would do two more things, I wouldn’t contemplate switching carriers every day. 1. Get off their thumbs and approve the 9900 sooooon. 2. Imprive their network so I don’t drop calls on my way to and from work in the major metro city that I live in.

  2. I’d be happier if they wouldn’t over do it like that and offer more promotions…

  3. Good policy. And, I don’t have anything bad to say about the company stores I’ve been in. They’ve always taken care of my problems (not that there have been many). Service in my area does great

  4. AT&T customer service. In my own experience, pretty damned bad. Recently my wife was indecisive about which phone to get – iPhone or Torch. (She got the iPhone, returned it for the Torch the next day. Not enough control on the iPhone 😉 The sales rep got annoyed with my wife for being indecisive, and offered no help or information about either phone. (Later, when her manager was around, she was most helpful.)

    Then there was the time my phone had a hardware defect. The AT&T rep in the branch store was nice enough to call the warranty service for me, after I insisted that I’d already done so and they had told me it could be handled in store.

    He went through he voice menus, spoke to someone… and told them that my phone’s damage was probably accidental (it wasn’t) then – big surprise – came back to me affirming what he told me in the first place, that they couldn’t help at all.

    The only thing that keeps me with AT&T at this point is concurrent voice and data, which I use almost every day (especially with a tethered PB). If I can find another provider that offers that on a 3G phone then I’m gone with my next renewal. Verizon looks like it’s slowly headed that way (but not sure if it will be there for BB phones). Sprint looks like they give 4G coverage in my area, but even so no simultaneous voice and data. And t-mobile is about to become AT&T, so that’s a no-go…

    Now onto this “10 is the only passing score” crap. I’ve heard it from car dealerships. I’ve heard it from AT&T reps. It seems I’ve heard a variation on this theme every time I participate in an interaction in which I might rank my experience somewhere.

    By telling me to vote 10, they make that survey meaningless. Is it*really* the only passing score, or is someone just trying to look good to management?

    Note to customer service types: Don’t try to guilt me into a biased ranking to make yourself look good. If you ever tell me ANYTHING other than to rank honestly, I’m giving you a 1. Even when you might have otherwise gotten a 10.

    • I am a sales rep for AT&T. Any score on that ridiculous survey less than a 9 is grounds for a write-up, no matter the circumstance. When we get a score of 8 or less, we have to write an “action statement” of 2 or more paragraphs detailing how we intend to improve our performance as representatives. An average of less than 80% significantly affects our paychecks. Some customers don’t even realize that those surveys ONLY affect the rep. It is my responsibility to get the score so AT&T can claim top notch customer service.

  5. I love this article and all it’s content, however does all AT&T employees practice these 5 key behaviors for great customer service? In my experience it could be better they are inconsistent. They are better than Verizon though. Get all your employees to buy in to these 5 key behaviors and make sure they live it daily.

  6. I always got what i wanted whenever i go to the at&t store and it always puzzle me why i can never sneak in without being notice haha…… guess that explain why no matter how small the store is they always got so many people on one shift so everyone get greeted. Well it great to see they got the customer service all covered now they need to work on their networks too many drop calls.

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