One of the most challenging, yet fulfilling parts of my job is learning about who our customers are and how to engage with them. We understand that when individuals walk into an AT&T store, they usually want to learn more about our devices and services, but we also want to help them learn more about who we are as a company.
Fostering a greater understanding of the programs that AT&T operates to our consumers is a key part of what my team does – especially as it relates to environmentalism.
I wish I could say there is an exact science to creating and executing in-store sustainability programs –that there is some sort of sustainability “idea lab,” where we mix all the elements of philanthropy, sustainability and community engagement in a beaker and a grand idea elixir is born. Unfortunately, that is not the case just yet. Rather, the process we actually use can feel a bit laborious, as it’s rigorous both internally and externally. Worse yet, we don’t get to wear cool lab coats. It’s all a process to ensure that whatever programs we roll out will meet the high expectations our consumers have for us.
Fostering a greater understanding of the programs that AT&T operates to our consumers is a key part of what my team does – especially as it relates to environmentalism. Over the past few years, my team launched many environmental initiatives in our retail locations. In all of those programs, including paperless billing, sustainable packaging design, the AT&T Eco-Rating program and device recycling, we are always looking at ways to engage customers on sustainability in our core retail experience. Then, as soon as an idea is launched in-store we go back to our labs (well, our desks) and try to figure out what other creative ways we can engage with our consumers.
We’re in the midst of one of these pilot programs as we speak. In an effort to increase device recycling and support local schools through DonorsChoose.org (an organization that allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom projects), we launched pilots in Austin, Charlotte, Pittsburgh and Seattle in late June. Here’s how the pilots work:
- In Austin and Charlotte we’ll donate $5 to DonorsChoose, up to a total of $25,000 for each city, for each wireless device recycled or traded in under the program.
- In Seattle and Pittsburgh we’ll donate $5 to DonorsChoose, up to a total of $25,000 for each city, when someone trades in or recycles an old device and purchases any new phone or tablet in the same transaction.