Lithys 2017: T-Mobile - Surprise & Delight

Lithys 2017: T-Mobile - Surprise & Delight

T-Mobile has truly embraced being a social company, boosted by our own CEO John Legere’s no-holds-barred approach on his own social handles.




Company:  T-Mobile                                            lithys17_tmobile-logo.png

Entry submitted by: Michelle Mattson (Director, Social Care)

Lithy category:  Surprise & Delight

Social Channels: @TMobile, T-Mobile Facebook Page, and @TMobileHelp


As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc. is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 72.6 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on quality and value. Based in Bellevue, Washington, T-Mobile US provides services through its subsidiaries and operates its flagship brands, T-Mobile and MetroPCS.


T-Mobile has truly embraced being a social company, boosted by our own CEO John Legere’s no-holds-barred approach on his own social handles. We were able to surprise and delight our customers during our Super Bowl 51 marketing campaign this year, thanks in large part to Lithium’s partnership and collaboration. For the last four years, T-Mobile’s Social Care team (T-Force) has been front and center supporting the Marketing team’s fun and sometimes provocative commercials during the big event (anyone remember Kim Kardashian or Sarah Silverman?). Our objective has always been to promote and engage on all social channels in fun and meaningful ways that bring our brand to life, and this year was no exception. T-Mobile launched four different commercials with Justin Bieber, Martha Stewart, Snoop Dogg, and Kristen Schaal, along with fun social activities, like having customers submit their best touchdown dance on Twitter using #unlimitedmoves and Justin Bieber selecting his favorite.


Before this year, T-Force handled a significant amount of volume, but fell behind in handle time, usually responding hours later rather than minutes. This left us with many missed opportunities to engage with the public and influencers, delight our customers with timely and witty responses, and drive further conversation about our brand. This year, however, the team was able to stay engaged in real-time and maintain less than one-hour response times consistently throughout the game even though we received more volume with more spikes than previous years. Because of our consistent engagement, from a Marketing and Social Support front, T-Mobile garnered the honor of Most Talked About Super Bowl Advertiser on Social.



Our strategy this year has been the same as previous years – respond and engage with as many people about our commercials and our brand as real-time as we could; surprising and delighting with fun, relevant, and in-the-moment comebacks. In 2016, we adjusted our response time goal to less than 5 minutes for all interactions, regardless of the type of conversation – marketing campaigns, customer issues, or executive support. It was our objective going into Super Bowl 51 to continue that goal, knowing we were going to be collaborating with many celebrities, including one with the highest follower count on Twitter. To manage all of the volume, the following are the tactics we put in place to maintain that expected service level:

  • Train all of our specialists in Lithium (which hadn’t fully launched yet) prior to that Sunday
  • Coordinate timing of posts and anticipated volume from our Social Marketing team with our Resource Planning team to ensure we had as much staff in place to handle to anticipated volume
  • Proactively share approved messaging and rules of engagement
  • Set up support bridges with Lithium to manage and triage any system issues due to short bursts of significant volume

Volume: It was the best Super Bowl we have ever had! We have seen a steady increase of people engaging directly with our brand handles (@TMobile, T-Mobile FB, and @TMobileHelp) over the last four years and this year’s Super Bowl topped them all: We received 45% more volume than in 2016 and more than double previous years.




We also saw more volume spikes during the game, with sustained high levels of traffic. In the past, there were noticeable peaks, but engagement fell off after we were no longer able to keep up with the volume. Even with this additional volume, Lithium Social Media Management (SMM) for Service helped us manage those spikes and keep volume consistent by allowing our specialists to stay engaged with customers and the public.



Response Times: One of our most important goals was staying as close to a 5-minute response time as possible regardless of the volume we received. It was critical for us to stay engaged in-the-moment with people without losing that Super Bowl momentum. We were able to maintain our normal level of response time within Lithium’s platform with no system latency or degradation that we had experienced with our legacy system. The majority of interactions stayed within acceptable ranges.




"One of our most important goals was staying as close to a 5-minute response time as possible regardless of the volume we received."  So excited that you chose Lithium to help you drive your aggressive SLA's and that you are sharing how you are meeting and exceeding your customer's expectations!


Good luck and thank you for submitting!


Beverly Dunn