Customer Care Experience at Directv (AT&T)

A service design project to improve the user experience for customer care at DirecTV (AT&T). Create a strategy to reduce call volume and truck rollouts.

Role: User Experience (UX) Design Intern

Company: DirecTV (AT&T)

June 2016 - September 2016


Creating a better customer care user experience could potentially save the company millions of dollars. Although it may not completely eliminate all calls and truck roll-outs, shorter call sessions and knowing when to automatically send out a truck can still save money and more importantly, create a better customer experience. A better customer experience can lead to customer loyalty and elevated reputation.

Real customer quotes from our user interviews.

My ROle

I worked with two other UX design interns on this strategy project. I was in charge of the user journey, the opportunities that arose from it, and creating solution ideas. I was also involved in user research processes such as competitive analysis and user interviews (both field and in-house). I also was part of creating a deck that was presented to the entire Experience Design Studio (XDS) team and the CTO of AT&T

The process


Initially we began our process with competitive analysis. We wanted to explore the current best practices and pain points for not only our company, but other similar companies as well. We looked at 15 competitors that included traditional cable & satellite companies, streaming services, and other television and tech companies. From there we identified the best practices and pain points that arose from our analysis.

Pain Points

  • Complex language
  • Confusing information architecture
  • Limited or hidden help center contact info
  • Lengthy solutions

Best Practices

  • Customer support is easily findable
  • Information architecture is clear
  • Step by step process
  • Individually contextualized
  • Preventative support
  • Multiple last resort options

User Interviews

We conducted user interviews both in-house and in the field. We went out field with the technicians and interviewed customers in their homes as well as the technician's experience. We asked about their customer care experience with DirecTV (AT&T). We also conducted in-house interviews with individual customers not only from DirecTV (AT&T) but from other competitor companies. Before the interviews we came up with potential questions we could ask the customer. Here are a sampling of these questions:

  • What is the problem? How did you find out about it?
  • How long had the problem been going on before your appointment?
  • How long had the problem been going on before your appointment?
  • What was your first approach to solving the problem?
  • What was the troubleshooting experience like?
  • What resources did you use?
  • How did you schedule your appointment?
  • What was your experience leading up to the appointment?

Themes and User Journey

Based on our research, we saw emerging themes that remained consistent across all different types of customers. We created a customer user journey that mapped out key activities a user goes through along with their thoughts and positive/negative emotions associated with it. We used the areas with negative experiences to create opportunities and turn them positive experiences.

Themes that started to emerge after some research.

Tracking thoughts, opportunities, and solutions during a user's journey.


From the opportunities that arose in the user journey, we came up with some potential ideas that could help create a better customer care user experience. Although these ideas were not implemented, they serve as a starting point for a collaboration between the Experience Design Studio (XDS) and Preventative Care teams. Our deliverable was to present a deck highlighting our stategy for a better customer care experience.

Tech ETA

A lot of our customers and competing company's customers expressed an interest in the tech ETA system. This solution addresses the pain point of the uncertainty of wait times for a technician to show up at the customer's house. It also alleviates anxiety of a stranger entering a customer's home by showing the photo of the tech and a quick bio that would make them relatable.


Auto Schedule Appointments

In this solution, when the set-top box detects an error that requires a truck roll-out, it will automatically prompt the customer to schedule an appointment via a ping on their phone. This solution solves pain points revolving around call wait times since a truck roll-out appointment can only be done over the phone currently. This idea also solves the issue of the complexity of scheduling an appointment, and removes the starting point barrier. What is a starting point barrier? Some of the customers had an aversion to begin the process of troubleshooting because they didn't know where to start or they just didn't want to deal with customer service.


In-App Streaming

A lot of customers weren't aware of alternative methods of getting their entertainment. This solution is a quick "band-aid" idea which provides uninterrupted entertainment for the customer when there is a satellite or cable service issue. This idea addresses the pain point of wait time for their normal service to resume again.