T-Mobile Bashes Bots, Advocates For "Real People" Before NFL Playoffs Audience

Brian Cantor

Four months ago, T-Mobile launched a commercial campaign advocating for "real help from real people."

This weekend, the wireless carrier communicated its message to a very large audience.  The commercial aired several times during coverage of the NFL Wildcard Playoff games.

Featuring "The Office" actor Rainn Wilson, the spot mocks the frustrating IVRs and ineffective routing historically associated with the customer service experience.  Instead of subjecting its customers to those dreaded "pain points," T-Mobile links customers to live human agents who can provide meaningful support.

The message -- that humans, not bots, are the key to great customer service -- comes as the customer contact community continues to explore opportunities to leverage bots within the CX journey.

Although T-Mobile levies its attack at IVRs rather than the web chatbots that more notably command thought leader attention, the core takeaway of its message is undeniable.  A customer-centric brand, the carrier argues, provides customers with quick, easy access to a legitimate human agent.

The commercial, moreover, accepts the status quo reality that customer service is primarily handled over the phone.  Rather than trying to convince customers that they can receive a great experience using live chat or web self-service, T-Mobile attempts to achieve differentiation by trumpeting a superior voice experience.

What is your take?