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AT &T Analysis

COM 430

Final Project

Jennifer Burss

Southern New Hampshire University

Professor Jaymes Meyers

Background

AT&T is a worldwide company that provides home telephone, cellular telephone, digital paid
television service, and wireless high speed internet service. The company is headquartered in
Dallas, Texas in the United States (AT&T). The prominent telecommunications company
employed 243,620 people worldwide as of 2014(Statista.com). Its worldwide revenue for 2014
was 132.4 billion dollars (AT&T).
The company began in part as AT&T Bell Labs in the 1920s. According to the company, they
invented the method by which sound was brought to motion pictures. In 1926, they discovered
ways to have the first two-way phone conversation across continents. In further advances of
communicative technology, AT&T was the first company in the US to exhibit the basic
technology for television.
AT&T also has several community based programs to assist local communities. They mentor
young people through their Aspire Mentoring Academy. The Aspire Accelerator program pairs
educational technology companies and organizations with funds and mentoring to improve and
market their products and services. This is seen as a way to better education (AT&T).
In todays environmentally conscious world the company has made an effort to adopt more
conservative practices in their use of fuel. They have begun using vehicles with alternative fuels
and as of 2014 had 10,628 vehicles in their collection of company vehicles. The company has
also utilized other efforts to reduce environmental impact such as planning shorter routes for it
service vehicles.

In the early 1980s, AT&T Bell Labs began experimenting with wireless communications this
experimentation and its discoveries are the basis for cellular phones and the portable
communication abilities of the present day (AT&T).

Currently, AT&T is a publicly traded

company and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange with the simple symbol T. As of
September 25, 2015, its shares are $32.33 each (NASDAQ).

SWOT Summary
Strengths/Weaknesses/Leadership
Culture/Values/Social Responsibility- AT&T claims to provide a diverse and inclusive
workplace for its employees. Although its website makes it difficult to find information on the companys
efforts, DiversityInc.com lists AT&T as number seven on its list top diverse companies for 2015. The list
is determined by a people working in various business fields who voluntarily complete an online survey.
DiversityInc.com portrays the companys diversity efforts as spearheaded by Chairman and CEO Randall
J. Stephenson and Chief Diversity Officer Cynthia Marshall. Stephenson started most of AT &Ts

diversity based initiatives when he became CEO according to DiversityInc.com.


Marshall previously worked as the companys Senior Vice President of Human
Resources and President of AT&T North Carolina.(Diversity.com) The companys Diversity
Management department allows employees to receive training and educational assistance
pertaining their individual positions(AT&T).
Many of these diversity based programs involve people with disabilities. The company
utilizes an employee resources group within AT &T to hire people of diverse backgrounds. They
also maintain relationships with different parts of various company advisory panels (AT&T).
All of this will help aid AT&T's goal of becoming more diverse as a company and more
inclusive. Inclusion is vital to todays business world as people today work remotely for
companies all over the world.
It will help broaden the skills of its employees and provide better customer service. This
is a strength. A weakness however, is that these programs are not widely discussed within the
media. A search of both Business Insider.com and Forbes.com yielded no results about these
programs. Although it may seem like grandstanding to promote these programs within the media,

having a public that is aware of them will only draw potential employees and further accolades
for the company. If their organizational culture is truly inclusive, promoting programs like these
will only serve their goals as a company to provide a connection to which their customers can
relate and therefore provide better service to said customers (Eisenberg, E. M., Goodall, H. L., &
Trethewey, A., 1993).
AT&T has a very large weakness in relation to customer service. The companys
Facebook page is riddled with complaints about service. Complaints range from anything
regarding prices on a bill not being what was promised during a customer service phone call, to
the company advertising the sale of new devices and stores not stocking those devices.
Employees echo similar sentiments with regard to being able to assist customers. According to
Glassdoor.com, a site where employees and former employees can anonymously post reviews of
companies, Sales Specialists are frustrated by the inability to truly assist customers in store and
having customers leave the stores dissatisfied, angry, and without resolution (Glassdoor.com).
A method that might improve customer service is to improve the systems employees use to
file customer complaints and connect customers with other care representatives. Customers may
also appreciate the ability to immediately report their experience with customer service, ease in
contact the company is important to many customers.
Another threat or difficulty this company seems to face is a lack of work life balance for
its employees. On Glassdoor.com, employees say hours are long and compensation and benefits
very good, but they are often unable to have much of a life outside of work. This issue is very
dominant in employee reviews for this company. Setting more exact hours for most employees
would be helpful in this regard.

Opportunites
The size of this company and its network are a definite plus for them. AT&T could definitely use
this network to provide excellent service to their customers. They could better their customer
service and add to the value of their services, which would improve their reputation and bring
them more business. Competitor T-Mobile has spotty coverage outside highly populated areas
(Top 10 Reviews.com). AT&Ts strong network could provide better service for wireless users.
There also an opportunity to help promote diversity with these strong services and build a
stronger reputation pertaining to diversity (AT&T). There is also a chance to better customer
service by giving customer service employees a bit more concertive control when assisting
customers. Giving them options to truly help customers is the only way the company can help
them do their jobs. If another company is more helpful and less expensive they will have an
advantage.

Reputation Analysis

Website
AT&Ts website has very little information about the public view of the company. The multibillion
dollar corporation has won many awards in recent years but there is no consumer commentary in regard
to AT&Ts external reputation. Among the awards and honors in both 2014 and 2015 are being number
one in the category of telecommunications on Fortune Magazines Top 100 Most Admired Companies
list, placement on Tenets Top 100 Most Powerful Brand list, and Women Certified Inc. honored them
with the Womens Choice Award for telecommunication services (AT&T).
These awards may speak to the companys reputation in terms of the opinions different groups or
publications, but doesnt tell of what their customers think of their services. Placing online reviews of
AT&Ts services on their webpages with the information regarding with corresponding services would
help support these claims. It may also be best for them to consolidate their pages so that information can
be found more quickly and easily. Based on the website the company seems to be fairly accommodating
to people with disabilities working within the company.
Social Media
AT&Ts Social Media varies in style and use depending on the outlet. The companys Facebook
page is very superficially responsive to customer concerns. On Facebook, customer concerns range from
problems with phone services to issues with internet connections. The companys Social Media
Specialists seem very initially responsive but many customers claim to not receive promised messages or

responses. Some also return to the Facebook page claiming to have not received products or direct
answers from customer service.
Others have also claimed that theyve thought theyre made arrangements with the company
regarding billing only to receive a totally different bill than quoted. Much of the company culture
regarding Facebook seems to allow a small amount of concertive control as Social Media Specialists
being able to direct customers on a course of action. The course of action however seems to be the same
in most if not all cases, which displays manufactured consent in regard to the methodology used to solve
customer problems. Manufactured consent is when employees willingly adopt the policies of an
organization as part of their association with it.
On Twitter, AT&T mainly advertises new products and services and doesnt not display consumer
complaints or concerns readily on the front twitter page but on the tweets and replies page. They are
able receive direct messages. In order to improve their social media based reputation it may be best to
keep better track of their messages on social media and respond to them in a manner corresponding with
the urgency of the complaint.
On Glassdoor.com, employees and former employees are allowed to anonymously rate and
comment on an organizations practices. Many voice frustration over the lack of control given when it
comes to being able to assist customers. They are not given choices as to how to help a customer and
many complaints are referred to customer care. There is little ability to choose an option in store that can
resolve a problem, employees have very little concertive control or the ability to police themselves.
The companys organizational culture does seem to be one dominance over employee decision making.
There seems to be little they can do to help customers and there is very little work/life balance according
to employees and former employees. People in very few positions are allowed to work from home or
partially from home,and the hours are very long but the benefits and compensation are very
good.(Glassdoor.com)

Traditional Media

In traditional media AT&Ts ads are somewhat exaggerated one television ad in particular calls their
services revolutionary repeatedly. This is an ad for their streaming television service, which is hardly
new. Perhaps the company has plans to revamp its services, but streaming TV is not a new concept.
Throughout both their social and traditional media the company is promoting a campaign to reduce or end
distracted driving. To better implement this campaign in media more ads need to air on streaming
television such as Hulu or YouTube about this campaign. It also reflects the companys level of social
responsibility.

Management Summary
AT&T should consider publicizing more information about its diversity programs. This will
give the company a chance at hiring more employees that customers can relate to and may
improve customer relations. It may also open a skill set or skill sets to people who have drive,
skill, and ability that they can apply to the company.
Customer service needs to be this companys main focus. Any effort to improve the customer
experience must give employees options to truly assist customers and make a decision about how
to help themthis is a form of concertive control. Systems by which complaints are entered and
processed could be improved using company intranets and company phones. Chat and electronic
mail can ease and speed employee communication and help them better serve customers.AT&T
also needs to set better hours for employees so that they might achieve a better work life balance
and be happier and more productive at their jobs and that will reflect in the level of customer
satisfaction. The company should engage customers in all of its social responsibility efforts,
engaging customers in such activities can help differentiate them from other companies.

References:
Reeves, J. E. (2012, February 12). Six Reasons Companies Should Embrace CSR. Retrieved
November 11, 2012, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/csr/2012/02/21/six-reasons-companiesshould-embrace-csr/
Eisenberg, E. M., Goodall, H. L., & Trethewey, A. (1993). Organizational communication: Balancing
creativity and constraint (Seventh ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press.

AT&T | DiversityInc Top 50. (n.d.). Retrieved November 10, 2015, from
http://www.diversityinc.com/att/
AT&T Company Information. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.att.com/gen/investorrelations?pid=5711
AT&T Inc. (T). (n.d.). Retrieved September 27, 2015, from http://www.nasdaq.com/symbol/t
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http://www.statista.com/statistics/220683/number-of-atundt-employees-since-2007/
AT&T Reviews. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/AT-and-T-ReviewsE613_P3.htm?filter.employmentStatus=UNKNOWN
AT&T User Reviews - CNET. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cnet.com/products/at-t-formerlycingular-wireless/user-reviews/
Diversity and Talent Development Awards and Recognition. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2015, from
http://www.att.com/gen/corporate-citizenship?pid=17721
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http://www.about.att.com/content/csr/home/issue-brief-builder/environment.html

How AT&T Is Planning to Rob Americans of an Open Public Telco Network. (n.d.). Retrieved
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http://www.corp.att.com/attlabs/about/backgrounder.html
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http://att.jobs/pages/denises-story
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(n.d.). Retrieved October 24, 2015, from https://twitter.com/ATT
(n.d.). Retrieved October 24, 2015, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Rf4IzHlhf4