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Customer Experience and Satisfaction

Materiality Assessment Topics: Responsible marketing/offer transparency | Global Reporting Initiative Standard Disclosure: GRI 417-3, Responsible marketing and transparency of offers MA

Issue Summary

Customers are the most important stakeholder groups for any business. Successful companies must meet the needs of their customers today and transform to meet challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Our Position

One of our core values is building strong customer relationships. We want customers to have an effortless experience with us, and our mission is to mobilize their worlds. We regularly ask our customers how we’re doing to make sure we improve our products and services.

Our Action

Customer experience and satisfaction is a priority for all employees. Specifically, several key officers across the AT&T enterprise have customer experience responsibilities and lead the charge in making changes within the company. Our Code of Business Conduct also details our commitment to our customers. Customer experience goals are integrated in employee and leadership compensation incentives.

Customer Interaction

We provide customer service in more than 160 languages, including Arabic, Farsi, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Polish and Vietnamese. We also offer a wide range of communications services to customers with vision, hearing, mobility and speech limitations. In 2017, our retail and customer service representatives took more than 20 million hours of training to improve how they take care of customers.

Customers can communicate with us in a variety of ways:

  • From a smartphone using the myAT&T app or
  • Via chat and our online forums
  • On social media through our Facebook and @ATTCustomerCare Twitter accounts
  • Through interactive digital experiences including:
    • Online and mobile Device Support, which provides help and how-to instructions through device-specific tutorials and videos
    • Our Troubleshoot and Resolve tool, which offers personalized support for U-verse TV, DIRECTV, internet and Home Phone service and equipment that sends alerts, runs tests and provides solutions
    • Our Mobility Troubleshoot and Resolve tool, which offers step-by-step guidance to resolve customer device and service issues
  • In our exclusive retail locations
  • Via phone, by dialing 611 from an AT&T wireless phone or calling 800-331-0500 for wireless support and 800-288-2020 for wireline support, including TV, internet and phone services

Measuring Customer Satisfaction

We measure customer satisfaction and subscriber activity across our products, services, geographies and brands. We monitor our customers’ satisfaction through a variety of survey and behavioral approaches. However, there is no single, perfect measure of satisfaction. That’s why we use several indicators to assess how our customers feel about us. Those surveyed represent everyone from our largest business customers to individual wireless users. The indicators fall into 3 main categories:

  • Relationship satisfaction: We use Net Promoter Score (NPS)® to assess our customers’ willingness to recommend AT&T. Working with research firm MaPS and using multiple external, blind survey methods, we measure our promoters and detractors to create a score that paints a holistic picture of what our customers think of our business and industry. We conduct these surveys continually to gauge our performance. Because this information is proprietary, we do not release these scores externally.
  • Transactional satisfaction: We conduct quick surveys closely following direct customer interactions including retail store visits, service installation or maintenance visits, calls to our customer service centers or online chat support. The assessments range from texts to online surveys to phone calls, and they ask a customer to rate his or her specific interaction. Feedback arrives quickly and can be used in training, commendations for superb work, or suggestions for improvement. It can also provide early insights to emerging trends. These surveys are proprietary, so we do not share results outside of AT&T.
  • Behavioral outcomes: We track both sides of customer choice: incoming customers (sales) and outgoing customers (churn). We report churn in our quarterly financial earnings, and industry analysts often cite this metric as a key measure of customer satisfaction.

We also track many primary- and secondary-market research studies conducted by third-party firms and analysts.

Finally, we have teams integrated within each key business unit that are responsible for being the “voice of the customer” by sharing customer feedback, identifying pain points and driving changes to policy, process and systems that ultimately improve overall customer experience.

Improving and Managing Customer Experience

We’ve always had a commitment to customer service, and we keep working to improve. Customer satisfaction data helps us find new ways to make our products, services and network better. It also helps us develop and instruct our employees on the best practices they need to deliver a good customer experience.

Recent strides we’ve made include:

  • Further expanding and improving capabilities for smartphones, using the myAT&T app and so customers can easily take care of their needs online. We know many of our customers prefer to manage their accounts online, so we are continually enhancing and the myAT&T app to provide solutions that are easy to find and navigate. Examples of this include:
  • We simplified the process for our customers to upgrade new smartphones on and the myAT&T app. It can be done in only 3 screens: selecting the device, accessorizing and protecting, and checkout.
    • Ordering online is now the easiest and fastest way to get a new smartphone from AT&T. More and more customers opt to upgrade online each year, and that is why we made it easier. Our customers no longer must wait anxiously for phones to be delivered because they can buy online and pick-up in store with same-day delivery (available in major markets).
    • Enhanced the Order Management Hub, an online portal, to provide our consumer and business customers with the ability to find the status of and manage their TV, internet, phone and multi-product orders.
    • In addition to individual customers, small and large businesses can go to AT&T Premier for a better upgrade experience. With our redesigned checkout experience and simplified tools, it’s easier than ever for our customers to manage and complete orders.
    • We introduced a cloud-based DVR streaming service as part of our efforts to create a unified platform across our TV services.
  • Rolling out a new, more open store design with digital signage and touch-screen kiosks. Our customers can interact directly with products and services before purchasing. Our retail representatives are fully mobile and can check out customers with a tablet from anywhere in the store.
  • Adding dedicated Technical and Billing queue experts to address specific concerns.
  • Moving to a consolidated desktop application leveraging an integrated cross-channel tool that allows us to make it personal with our customers when they engage us in our call centers.
  • Delivering on “Our Promise” to our customers by providing an extraordinary experience to every customer every time they contact us. Expanding AT&T THANKSSM, a customer appreciation program offering entertainment and service benefits to AT&T DIRECTV customers, in 2017. Examples include promotional events for advanced movie screenings, music promotions, sweepstakes, event tickets on Fridays and Premier Services for our Platinum customers.

Innovating the Customer Experience

In addition to improving our current system, we pilot technologies to further enhance the customer experience. Examples of our current projects include:

  • Voice Biometrics — Uses a customer’s personal voice print to positively identify and authenticate him or her to his or her AT&T account. Once the customer is successfully enrolled in our Voice Biometrics program, all future calls from that customer can be authenticated before the customer ever speaks to a call center agent. This increases the security on the customer’s account since voice prints are extremely resistant to fraud.
  • WebRTC (Real-Time Communication) — Is a technology that will be part of our MyATT mobile application. It enables our customers to reach out to an AT&T agent by launching either a chat session or a voice call to an agent directly from their current screen in the mobile application.

AT&T Business

Our AT&T Business teams continue to look at new ways to handle processes such as pricing, contracting, ordering, provisioning and billing. The effort has resulted in improved order quality, faster installation, faster repair times and improved billing accuracy for our customers. Enhanced applications, sales support, process simplification, automation and data-powered insights give our sales teams the ability to provide an improved customer experience. Here are some additional efforts:

  • Increasing the places customers can do business with us through our distribution channels, including direct sales, indirect sales and online.
  • Continuing efforts to improve on-time performance and installation and repair intervals across the globe.
  • Analyzing customer data to deliver predictive insights and further improve the customer experience.

Employee Tools

Other tools available to our employees include:

  • The Innovation Pipeline, where they can submit ideas on new ways to help our customers.
  • The Helping Customers website, available on employees’ wireless devices, which is a tool that provides information and resources allowing employees to find help for many types of customer issues and escalate customer issues not resolved by traditional AT&T service channels.
  • The Service Escalation Program, where employees can be service ambassadors and submit service requests on behalf of customers.

Marketing and Advertising

AT&T is big company with many different kinds of customers and advertising teams. As one of the largest U.S. advertisers, we have an opportunity to influence how people of all backgrounds are portrayed.

AT&T Inclusion Marketing is an integrated-marketing effort created to ensure that AT&T’s marketing efforts reflect our changing society—one that is experiencing huge demographic shifts. It considers the entire spectrum of diversity, including gender and cultures, as well as the accessibility market, LGBTQ population and veterans. It starts with the makeup of the marketing team and ends when culturally nuanced content goes to market.

In 2017, we began work with the Association of National Advertisers and its Alliance for Family Entertainment’s #SeeHer movement to improve how women and girls are portrayed in the media and advertising. We’ve committed to eliminate all bias in our content and accurately portray women and girls in our ads by the end of 2018. We’ll use Gender Equality Measures, or GEM scores, to drive this measurable improvement.

We were the first company to add GEM scores to all TV copy tests in 2017. As a company with a data-driven approach to advertising, seeing the benefits that come with higher GEM scores will drive change. These scores measure how women and girls are depicted respectfully, appropriately, authentically and positively. It's not only a moral imperative; it's a business imperative. We discovered that ads with higher GEM scores are driving better business outcomes, including better brand and message recall, brand reputation and consideration.

Updated on: Jun 25, 2018