Category Archives: Customer Service

Three Things Every Business Should Do in a Recession

Change begets opportunity. Given the current economic situation, here are three things that every company should do:

Renegotiate vendor contracts. This is not to say that you should squeeze all profit out of your vendors. Business relations should always be mutually beneficial. However, contracts that were negotiated a few years ago when things looked rosy should be carefully reevaluated. For example, one small business was able to renegotiate their contract with Verizon Business and cut their bill in half.

Foster employee loyalty. Employees are more likely to stay at their jobs now, if they feel the jobs are secure. The good news is it’s easier to retain employees. But don’t be lulled by this. Unhappy employees being forced to work harder and longer hours will not stick around once the economy turns. Now that employee’s expectations are lower, do small things to increase job satisfaction and make people feel appreciated.

Do more for your customers. Much advice centers on how to maintain price discipline and avoid doing work at (or below) cost. There’s a different opportunity, however. Given that your customers are likely facing a new environment, they may be open to help in new, adjacent areas. For example, a company that downsized may now be shortstaffed in certain areas and happy to have a vendor provide managed services. Look for these areas, and propose solutions for your customers’ problems.

Where is customer service at T-Mobile?

I recently had some billing issues with T-Mobile that I was unable to resolve with customer service. I took the next step of contacting the Better Business Bureau, and to my surprise, T-Mobile resolved the issue immediately.

Why was it that T-Mobile would listen to me when I went through the Better Business Bureau, but not when I called up directly?

To find out, I emailed a Senior Vice President, who put me in touch with T-Mobile’s Executive Customer Relations (ECR) team. Turns out that ECR handles customer issues exclusively for executives’ referrals, Government, Regulatory, Small Claims, or by the Better Business Bureau.

The ECR unit is fairly small (though not insubstantial) and is based at T-Mobile headquarters in Bellevue, WA. It is next to impossible to reach them directly, as they contact customers by referral only.

Bottom line? You can only get top-tier customer support if you’re friends with an executive or if you have a potentially explosive issue.