7/30/2009 6:54:00 PM
T-Mobile steps up its retention strategy with a range of new measures
T-Mobile is stepping up its retention strategy by launching a new in-store system that will allow staff to make bespoke upgrade packages for customers.
‘Retention Offer Window’ will give T-Mobile retail staff access to the account management system, formerly only available to staff in its call centres.
The new system will launch in 180 of the operator’s direct stores by the end of 2009, and will be completed across the whole estate of around 300 outlets by the end of Q2 2010.
The move gives greater responsibility to store staff, who previously had to ring customer services for access to detailed upgrade information.
It will run in conjunction with T-Mobile’s current system, React.
Staff commissions will be proportional to the deal offered to the customer, with lower amounts paid for bigger bundles. T-Mobile will provide staff with an intensive two day training course on the new system.
The network said it hoped the new upgrade system would ‘increase productivity’ in store. T-Mobile offered a £200 bonus to staff in April 2009 if they reached extended sales targets in a scheme called ‘i-stretch’.
The retail overhaul is part of a general strategy for the direct retention of customers.
The network pulled back on Phones 4u and Carphone Warehouse earlier this month. Carphone staff hinted it had been increasingly difficult to offer good upgrades on the network, while Phones 4u’s T-Mobile handset portfolio has reduced to just the G1 phone.
A T-Mobile spokesman said: ‘Staff are currently going through an intensive training programme to familiarise themselves with the system and the procedures that must be followed to successfully build and fulfil retention offers.’
iPhone used as bait to keep customers
T-Mobile will offer the iPhone 3G to existing customers from September, in a bid to stop them leaving the network to join O2.
One T-Mobile customer service adviser offered Mobile the opportunity to upgrade to the iPhone 3G in September last week, an option he said would only be offered to ‘long standing’ T-Mobile customers.
It is understood the phone will be offered at a lower price than O2’s £35 per month tariff. Another source at T-Mobile admitted the move was a retention strategy and added it would not be deployed on a huge scale.
The move comes at a time when the network is rumoured to be in talks with Apple over distributing the older model. Last week, it was also reported that T-Mobile was to sell imported, Sim-free iPhones to existing customers.
Refurbs offered to deal seekers
A £50 discount is being offered to T-Mobile customers willing to take refurbished handsets as an upgrade.
The deal comes as new UK MD Richard Moat has made cutting costs (including handset wastage) and retaining customers the high priorities.
The operator said the move was a ‘tactic’ rather than a strategy, and was aimed at loyalty and retention when customers are not eligible for a free upgrade.
In the past, T-Mobile has carried out similar schemes with the Nokia N95 and N96, and Sony Ericsson’s C905 handset.