T-Mobile To Replace Interactive Voice Response With… Actual People?

Remember the last time you had the pleasure of navigating an interactive voice response system (or IVR)? You were probably calling your insurance provider or looking to upgrade your TV package and found yourself stuck in automated purgatory shouting “representative!” like a crazy person. We’ve all been there, and so has T-Mobile’s executive team, who, according to Nick Drake, EVP of Marketing and Experience, have decided to embark on a “…complete reinvention of customer care.”

Rainn Wilson illustrates being stuck in customer service hell during a new long-form spot for T-Mobile.

“The way it’s being done today is the way it’s been done for about the last 30 years, which is when IVR was invented,” Drake told AdWeek. “Really the only innovation that’s occurred over the last 30 years is the optimization of the IVR, but those optimizations are only done from a corporate perspective, ‘How can we save more money for ourselves?’ versus ‘How can we serve our customers better?’ A few years ago we took a step back and said, ‘Is there a better way? Can we serve customers to give them a better experience while also using modern technology to bring that experience to life?’”

T-Mobile’s new “Team of Experts” will consist of 30-40 people, designated to different regions of mobile coverage. You’ll also be able to message the team through the T-Mobile app, website, and, soon, iMessage. Their goal is to make themselves available through the usual channels you would use to communicate with your network, and it’s a huge step forward for the overall sanity of the human race.