In order to stay up to date with continual changes in the industry, the telecommunications giant Sprint – which merged with T-Mobile recently back in April of last year – utilizes the broad capabilities of its Adobe stack to not only hang on during the swings in customer behavior and technological development, but to have a firm grip on innovation.
“What’s in our Adobe stack?” asked Rob Roy, its chief digital officer. Well, Rob can answer his own questions: “It’s easier to tell you what we’re not using right now.”
I like Rob’s rhetoric here, but for simplicity, I’ll unravel their Abode stack: their solutions are Experience Manager, Analytics, Audience Manager, Campaign, Target, Creative Cloud, Marketo Engage, and XD.
Over at their HQ in Virginia, something interesting buzzes around the place. “We’ve formulated this concept around the beehive,” said Rob. “We bring everybody in, and we pollinate their minds with the idea of digital transformation.” This beehive is in fact a group of more than 120 user experience designers, product managers, digital marketers, testers, and data scientists.
Like all industries, customer service is a core pillar of how successful a company measures. But this is particularly pertinent in the telecommunications industry – as communication is supposed to be their bread and butter. In its industry battles with AT&T and Verizon, Sprint is looking to close the space as it catches up to them.
To get the entire company under the same umbrella, Sprint began teaching its employees how to incorporate all things digital, with the aim of arming them with the qualities to raise customer satisfaction.
“My predecessors had all tried,” added Rob. “To them, digital transformation was about cutting costs. They said: ‘If it costs you $5 to do something in-person, we could do it for a penny online. So let’s drive everybody over to the penny.’
“But digital transformation is ultimately not about dollars and cents. That may be a result, but what you’re really asking us to do is to transform the way we do business.”
This transformation took a powerful set of tools to create a reimagining. And these tools, which are stacked up high, are those of Adobe.
“We needed to get the right stack in place, the right foundation to build upon,” said Rob. “The Adobe stack that we had when I came in had to be completely re-architected.”
Sprint’s Adobe tech stack
Building the digital spine of Sprint is Adobe Experience Manager, a premier digital experience platform with a strong content management system at its core – and is one of the fastest-growing CMS platforms in the industry.
Along the columns of the spine is also Adobe Target, which tailors higher-level personalization to customers; Adobe Analytics, a leading solution for real-time analytics and customer segmentation across all platforms; and Adobe Campaign, a marketing solution that crosses email, mobile, social media and physical campaigns all with a central hub of customer data and profiles.
“I think we’re full on,” said Rob bluntly. “It’s a Ferrari, and we’re driving it like a Ferrari. If it didn’t work, I wouldn’t be talking to you guys.”
Sprint’s VP of digital, Jeff Henshaw, spoke of the competitive industry. “There’s the 4 big carriers. So it’s extremely competitive. Because of this, we had to take our digital capabilities to the next level. We needed to digitize a seamless cross-channel experience for our customers. If your web presence is cumbersome and frustrating, you’re often ending a relationship before it even gets started. On the flip side, if you delight customers with clear, intuitive, appealing experiences, the relationship can flourish.”
Better customer connections
Like most questions linked to better customer service, Sprint found the answer in personalization. As telecommunications customers, we are faced with a range of complex decisions: what type of plan do we want? Which services do we choose? And which accessories? Oh, and what devices do you want to use in the first place? Being able to win over consumers and retain them as loyal customers is difficult and it’s something we can decide in seconds.
“We can do a lot of things to personalize the experience through care,” said Rob, “through acquisition, through how we serve customers in different life cycles, how we prevent customers from leaving us—there are so many opportunities. We can even focus on how to do cross channel and cross device personalization.”
Sprint now has a holistic view of its customers and is able to cater each one of them a distinct digital experience, which accelerates their journey to accomplish what they came to Sprint for.
“Data is at the heart of everything,” said Jeff. “We utilize data sourced from Adobe Analytics to inform our product roadmap, to merchandise offers, and to define our UX strategy. We’ve really leaned into the Adobe stack, and it’s helped us in a multitude of areas to operate, optimize, and personalize the website. So it’s a great partnership.”
eCommerce and digital experiences function as synonyms for fast-paced commerce and ever-changing consumer behavior. “Removing boundaries helps to speed up the creative process,” said Aditi Kulkarni, digital UX manager. “We’re using Illustrator, Photoshop, and XD. We’re using XD so people can collaborate, including copywriters, designers… everyone is streamlined. And from a customer experience standpoint, you get that consistent experience.
“Navigation is one of the most important things when it comes to customer experience. It’s findability – making it so that something is there when you need it, but not obtrusive. The Adobe suite enabled us to increase the conversion rates for a user who starts on the website and completes an order, by 0.17%, which is huge for us.”
A helping metallic hand
“We bring our top customer care reps to The Hive to learn from them,” said Rob. “We built an AI bot that will allow our customers to self-serve, if you will, without the need of a human. We’re close to industry leading in that about 30% of our chats are taken through our AI system. We’re fairly proud of that one as well.”
Since unleashing the combined capabilities of Adobe from Experience Manager to Target, the results have been impressive:
- Just over 90% customer satisfaction online
- 22% order conversion rate
- 16% add-to-cart conversion rate
- 14% increase in conversion rate of new customers
- 4% increase in time spent on the site
- 20% rise in new orders
“Regarding customer experience,” said Aditi, “people actually want to be here, they want to explore more, and do more, because it’s easier. A more compelling site has led to a decrease of 12% in the bounce rate.”
Its journey with Adobe has thrusted Sprint into the forefront of digital innovation. “No matter what touchpoint you have with us,” said Rob ‘whether it’s phone, store, web, app, affiliate channel, it doesn’t matter, we can use these universal components to surface the right experience for them. That’s the vision of how we’re delivering on today’s kind of implementation.”