“#DeATThStar just doing what it normally does – NOT putting their customers first!” — @JohnLegere, September 2016
In response to a complaint about a competing mobile carrier, T-Mobile CEO John Legere didn't mince words. His tweet is emblematic of the cheeky, take-no-prisoners attitude that has served Legere in remaking T-Mobile as the mobile industry’s Un-carrier. The company is upending standard business practices with a wonderfully disruptive mandate: Listen to customers and give them exactly what they want. To that end, T-Mobile has thrown out service contracts, roaming fees, and data limits. Most recently, the Un-carrier started offering unlimited 4G LTE data for every plan.
This customer-first approach is working. T-Mobile now serves 67 million people — twice as many as when Legere took over in 2012. Company stock price has more than tripled since going public in 2013, and the company has moved up from last place among the big four, overtaking Sprint. But perhaps most importantly, T-Mobile is now number one in “customer satisfaction” and “likelihood to recommend,” according to Nielsen Mobile Insights data released in August 2016.
Yet while Legere remakes the public face of the company, another more technical transformation is underway.
T-Mobile U.S. was launched in 2002, when mobile phones had half-inch screens and were only “smart” enough to support talking and text. Only a fraction of a percent of retail sales were online. Today’s customers shop in a different world. They move freely from mobile, to stores, to the web.
In today’s environment, customers expect service that’s fast, seamless, and generous. That means being able to communicate in any existing channel, including social media, and never having to provide the same information twice.