While it may be one of the biggest wireless carriers in the country, AT&T didn’t get there by leading the pack in customer service. In fact, Ma Bell continually finds itself at the bottom of the barrel, coming in dead last in the Consumer Reports customer satisfaction survey for the second year in a row.

There’s at least one person out there who believes AT&T could easily become the nation’s #1 customer service company by this time next year. International customer service expert Laurie Brown thinks AT&T can go from last to first by following this simple, six-step formula.

  1. Make sure every customer is greeted, or at least acknowledged immediately, and sincerely.
  2. Change their policies. Don’t task employees with selling a new service or product during every customer encounter, especially not when a customer has a problem.
  3. When a customer does have a problem, or seems unhappy, greet them warmly letting them know you intend to solve that problem. Take ownership.
  4. Treat every customer as if they were a guest in your home.
  5. Train and empower employees. Employees should not always have to get a manager to solve a customer’s problem.
  6. Reward employees who come up with creative solutions to problems.

Brown thinks AT&T has their customers service priorities completely backward and can propel themselves to the top by following these six strategies, which are key essentials for good customer service at any company.

Though Brown is an international expert on customer service with over 20 years experience in the customer satisfaction consulting industry, we’re a bit skeptical that AT&T cares enough to try to turn it around. After all, they’re pretty much neck and neck with Verizon for the nation’s largest carrier spot, and aren’t exactly hurting for customers. Regardless, we certainly agree that AT&T needs to work on their customer service if they’re going to keep their place as one of the top two carriers in the US.

What do you guys think? Will Brown’s six-point strategy work for AT&T? Do you think customer service matters enough for AT&T to dedicate resources to bolstering their customer service efforts?

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