According to a recent CNBC report, T-Mobile wanted to gain insight into how visitors were using their website. They wanted to know what type of customers were there – were they researching plans or devices? Alternatively, were the potential new customers who owned a device looking to switch networks?
So they asked university teams to help.
T-Mobile’s vice president for digital journeys Giles Richardson told CNBC, “If a customer was looking at a page on the website that actually had two or three different topics on it, it’s sometimes difficult to work out what the thing that they were interested in that we should start pivoting around. We knew this area of our digital experience wasn’t … as good as it needed to be,”
The task was part of a partnership with Adobe’s annual analytics challenge where teams of students compete to win a $35,000 prize as well as potential employment. Since 2005, MGM Resorts International, Sony PlayStation, Starwood and Lenovo are some of the companies that have run challenges, with entrants given access to Adobe’s technology to solve live business problems.
The winning team, the from the University of Utah, focused on streamlining the digital experience with T-Mobile and presented a simplified version of the online path a potential customer might take. Implementing these improvements would bring T-mobile an extra $8.1 million in revenue,
Giles Richardson added, “Sometimes it takes an external fresh pair of eyes to say: ‘This is really hard to find. Watching the students’ presentations wasn’t always an easy experience, he added. “And it was a little bit of a dentist’s chair experience sitting through six finalist teams run through how terrible they felt (parts of the website experience) was.”
The students also pointed out that T-Mobile needed to reevaluate the importance of store visits and customer service calls. They did this by real-world testing: call the service numbers, mystery shopping in the stores.
Richardson will fly 20 semifinalists from the challenge to the T-Mobile HQ in the Seattle area for introductions. The company and intends to hire ten of those people.