08.24.11

Please Stop Giving Us Money

Posted in Flash at 9:48 pm by Curtis J. Morley

Is money becoming such a commodity that companies just don't need it anymore or was there some other explanation for the bizarre phone call I received yesterday?

It truly was an unbelievable Customer Service Expereince . Jackie from Sprint called me around noon and described that she was with the Sprint "Something or other" team. I really wasn't that interested because I have been very disappointed in Sprint's customer service in the past and even more disappointed with the Sprint Technical Support or lack of it. On most calls with the Sprint Technical Support team I end up teaching them something and I have called upwards of 12 times to get the same issue resolved without success.

This nice girl, Jackie from Arizona, said she had some good news for me and would like to look over my phone plan with me. I was about to politely decline when she said, "It looks like we can save you some money on your monthly bill. It was during the business day and I have had several solicitations like this from Sprint before but, she caught me off guard with her offer to save me some money. I was still skeptical but, she had my attention. She said it looks like from my research... (Did Sprint just say research?) ...that you are paying Sprint too much and I am calling to see if you would like to reduce the amount you pay us each month. Now she really had my attention. The rest of the conversation went something like this:

CM - You are calling me so I can save money by paying you less?
Jackie - Yes sir. It looks like you make the majority of your calls to mobile numbers. Even though you have 1,000s of minutes of total calling it looks like  you only actually call about 600 minutes/month to land lines. Because Sprint has Free Mobile-to-Mobile calling you can reduce your rate plan.
CM - So do I have to renew for another two years?
Jackie - Nope. There is no renewal required.
CM - So what kind of fee will I have to pay to set this up?
Jackie - No fee whatsoever. This is a free service that you can do at any time.
CM - What services will I lose.
Jackie - You will continue with all of your current services including unlimited texting, unlimited data, GPS and navigation, free any-mobile any-time calling, unlimited hotspot data and eight connected users, free 4G, free etc..., unlimited etc..., and free etc...
CM - I half expected you to say a free tablet.
Jackie - {Happy Laugh}, No Mr. Morley, no free tablets today.
CM - So, this is a little unbelievable. You called to ask me to stop spending so much money with you? No additional commitments, no reduction in service, and no additional fees.
Jackie - We just want to let you know that we are looking out for you.
CM - What if I change plans and next month bill is crazy because I call all landlines.
Jackie - Just call back in and we will take care of you and change your plan back.
CM - So how much will I save?
Jackie - We can reduce your plan by $40/month and you will still have a good buffer.
CM - Really?
Jackie - Yes really.
CM - This is just unbelievable. Next you are going to tell me that you have made me a creme' brulee.
Jackie - I do make a great creme' brulee, but I don't think it will taste as good if I send it through the mail.

 

Sprint loves money, but in my case they loved something even more than my $40/month.  The question is - what? Let's take a look at what Sprint bought for $40/month. From this one simple act Sprint gained:

  • A fun blog post from an influential blogger.
  • 10+ backlinks.
  • Slightly higher placement on the search engines
  • Multiple comments (Hey readers tell me your experiences with Sprint).
  • About 20,000 people that will read what this post about how amazing customer support Sprint is.
  • Multiple referrals to my friends and family. (I have already shared this story to 10 people including to the Customer Loyalty Team at FranklinCovey)
  • For the first time in my history I answered the automated call that followed to rate the experience.
  • A customer that won't have to be put on a two year plan because he now knows that Sprint has his back more than any other company.

As Head of Global Marketing for FranklinCovey I would easily pay 40 month for all of this. I would pay $120/month if I knew that I could turn demoters into active promoters. I would pay to pay to create a movement toward crowd sourced promotion to trusted individuals. So the ultimate question is -- Is extreme customer support really another form of marketing?

Let me know your thoughts.

Happy Savings -

Curtis J. Morley