AT&T Defies Expectations and Responds Instantly

Posted on March 9, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I just had a great interaction with AT&T..it was instantly responsive, professional, and exactly what it should be….here’s the story:

I have a teenage daughter with a cell phone…that is probably enough detail for anyone with kids. But in case you don’t have kids, like most kids these days, my daughter prefers to text than to talk on her phone.  She also has begun to use her phone for accessing the web.  The phone plan she is on charges per KB of web usage and it doesn’t take much to incur a large expense.  We have a family plan, and my phone is the lead number on the account.

So imagine my surprise when today I got a text message from AT&T telling me that one of my family members has exceeded $10 in data/mobile web charges this month.  It also had a toll free phone number to call for more information.  This is a good example of being instantly responsive…sending me an alert that my expenses are higher than I normally would have expected.  The amount, $10, is not much given the total amount on my bill, but I greatly appreciate knowing that this expense is higher than normal.  And I’m impressed with this service.  Think about it…the analytics that must be in place to comb all the data and figure out who to alert, then the system to send me the alert.  I’m impressed.

But what to do about it….Calling companies for service these days is an exercise in patience.  You expect to go through the answering prompt maze where you press 1 for English, then press 2 for your specific need, then press 3, then enter your zip code, then press # followed by 3 again, then you wait on hold listening to ads or music until you have no idea if you are every going to talk with a real person.  I was trying to figure out when I’d have enough time to call the number, and wait on hold until I could speak with a real person to investigate.  Since my philosophy is ‘better now than later,’ I took a risk.  I figured I could wait on hold for a few minutes, but if it got too long, I’d call back later.

To my delight, a real person immediately answered the phone.  This phone number did not go into a queue.  I did not have to answer any prompts using my keypad.  I was directly connected with a live agent.  He asked a few security questions then told me exactly what phone line was incurring the expense (no surprise, it was my daughter) and what I could do about it.  My expectations were completely wrong this time.  The service was quick, professional, efficient and effective.

He told me about a plan that will give my daughter 5megs of data usage for $5/month…much less than she’s cost me in the past few months.  I bit the bullet and added the data package.  Again, the agent was instantly able to do that and update my account.

The interaction was so fast, so instant, and so professional that I had to stop what I was doing and write this blog.  I’m very impressed with AT&T at the moment.  I’m excited to find an example where information was analyzed by their systems, a decision was made to tell me about it, a technology pushed out the information directly to a place I’d find it quickly, and an agent, rather than a prompt, was at the other end of the phone number ready to respond to my request.

And I’m excited to have a positive case study about being instantly responsive.  Do you have any stories like this?  If so, please…do tell.

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