When a Business Model Goes Rogue
T-Mobile hijacked by techies and bean counters
Takeaways to Consider
- If Peggy had her Droid in 2005—rather than a BlackBerry—we'd still be driving around in that Madrid taxi looking for our hotel.
- AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile utterly degraded the customer experience.
- No excuse in the world exists for the preposterous hoops T-Mobile forces international travelers to jump through.
- What should be required? A single phone call to alert T-Mobile you're going to Copenhagen—or six countries in Europe or wherever—so please enable my Droid. Make it so.
- This is no different than travelers alerting the folks who issue credit cards and ATM cards of their overseas plans.
- When communicating a corporate message to consumers, never-oh-never run it by people in the office to make sure it's readable and makes sense. These are your colleagues. They know the business cold. At T-Mobile, all the claptrap above would make perfect sense to company insiders. It's gobbledygook to the average consumer.
- Instead, try all copy out on outsiders and customers. If you confuse them, they'll tell you. This simple rule will save you from customer anger and confusion before you go public.
- Do not skimp on world-class copywriters when communicating with prospects and customers. This goes for all outgoing correspondence: emails, letters, billing and renewal series, instructions for use, thank-you notes, guarantees—everything!
- For me, the real story here is BlackBerry. The system worked seamlessly for Peggy back in 2005. Yet reports coming out about Research in Motion (RIM)—BlackBerry's creator—are dire.
- Yet, according to the T-Mobile sales rep, BlackBerry is the only device that works everywhere. As such, it has a killer USP (Unique Selling Proposition—the copy platform that separates it from the competition and makes it mighty desirable for international travelers.)
- Give me a list of proven upmarket prospects and international travelers plus a marketing budget and I'll save BlackBerry.
- From where I sit, the entire cellphone industry is in the hands of bean counters, techies and other utter incompetents.
- The cellphone industry motto: "We make the rules. You follow 'em bub."