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HomeInterviewsCXBuzz Interview With Jenelle Washington, Principal Customer Experience Manager at T-Mobile

CXBuzz Interview With Jenelle Washington, Principal Customer Experience Manager at T-Mobile

Hi Jenelle, tell us about yourself and your background

I’ve spent my entire 16 year career at T-Mobile in B2B, or as we call it, T-Mobile For Business (TFB).  In that time, I’ve supported Small Business, Enterprise, Indirect Sales and now my current role supporting the onboarding of T-Mobile’s Wholesale customers.  Business customers hold a special place in my heart.  Prior to joining T-Mobile, I worked at an accounting firm in New York where I provided client support services for small businesses including bookkeeping, preparing weekly payroll, paying vendors, preparing monthly and quarterly payroll taxes and was a correspondent liaison for our small business customers and tax agencies like the NYS Department of Finance and the Internal Revenue Service.
I’ve started, and stopped, several small businesses myself, so I understand the plight and the heavy-lift of being both an entrepreneur and small business owner.  Whether it’s a Fortune 500 company, a local small business or an MVNO, business customers have unique needs and require a customer experience that matches those needs.
What is the biggest misunderstanding about customer experience, in your opinion?
Customer experience starts as soon as a customer becomes aware of your brand.  In their classic, Outside In, authors Manning and Bodine say “you are in the customer experience business whether you know it or not”  Customer experience is not just customer satisfaction or customer service.  Customer experience is how customers perceive their interactions with your company.  The products and services you offer must meet the customers needs and be easy to find, buy and use. Likewise, it’s important to manage not just your business but also what your brand stands for.  It’s crucial to bring the perspective of your customer to every decision you make.
What are some of the newer CX companies/solutions you’re keeping your eyes on right now?
In order to have a competitive advantage in the marketplace, companies and solutions that provide experiences that can make lives easier, healthier, more productive, safer and rewarding while also being sustainable and tackling some of our world’s biggest problems.  I’m personally keeping my eyes on purpose-driven companies that are providing experiences that enable employee growth, employee innovation and the space for all stakeholders to be, and act, like owners of the business.

Jenelle’s tips for improved customer loyalty

What can companies do to improve customer loyalty and retention?
Like I mentioned before, companies must bring the customer perspective to every decision that is made.  This holds true regardless of the company size or industry.
What do you think is most relevant and why: CSAT (customer satisfaction score), NPS (net promoter score), or CES (customer effort score)?
The importance of these scores can vary based on where your business or product is in its lifecycle.  In the niche line of business I am currently in (optimizing the onboarding experience for T-Mobile Wholesale partners), I would say that the CES is the most relevant metric for me at this time. Instead of asking how satisfied the customer is, I like to focus on questions that gauges the ease of their experience.  There’s ample evidence that reveals that the ease of a given experience is a better indicator of customer loyalty than measuring customer satisfaction.
How can companies better use social media in the era of customer-centricity and personalization?
Social media is a key touchpoint in engaging with your customers or potential customers.  Remember, customer experience begins as soon as a customer becomes aware of your brand.  Similarly,  user-generated content (UGC) is a great way for companies to use social media in this era of customer-centricity.  The customer IS the content.  Sharing customer stories and allowing others to see how your company’s product or service was put to use in real life is not only engaging, but also much more relatable than leveraging celebrities or stock photography from overly curated photoshoots.
What is your opinion on AI-based chatbots to handle customer support?
When used correctly, AI-based chatbots are like 24/7 employees that can learn, gather customer insights, and increase sales.   However, AI-based chatbots are typically designed to handle first-level questions because their algorithm serves a very specific function based on the context and data given.  Narrow AI lacks empathy and is unable to solve the more complex queries that a human can.  To employ AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) takes a lot of work, expertise, skills and resources.  Having a deep knowledge of your customer persona and aligning with qualified digital transformation experts is necessary to implementing AGI.
What was the best movie you saw that has come out during this past year?
I love to see classics come to life in a new way.  Mortal Kombat and Mulan were some of my favorite movies in 2020 and 2021.
Last but not least, what is your favorite CX metric?
Net Promoter Scores (NPS) are widely used and can give great insight into customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.  Almost everyone fills out NPS surveys because they are easy to follow and understand.

About the author

Efrat Vulfsons
Efrat Vulfsons
Efrat Vulfsons is the CEO & Co-Founder of PR Soprano and the editor of CXBuzz parallel to her soprano opera singing career. Efrat holds a B.F.A from the Jerusalem Music Academy in Opera Performance.


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