I've been with the same mobile carrier for 10 years. I almost left two years ago over a billing issue, but a special customer-service SWAT team swooped in and took things over. Since then, my family has enjoyed the benefits of a dedicated customer-service rep. This is the real deal, as I know my rep's full name, personal email address and mobile phone number. I don't contact my rep often, but when I do, I get a personal response within 24 hours -- usually in much less time. Moreover, my rep helps me quickly cut through the complexity of phone plans and options to find the best value for my family.
What's the value of being treated like a human being by your mobile carrier? I would probably pay up to double to have this level of personalized service. The absence of typical mobile-carrier hassle is a big deal. I've got to believe the ROI for my mobile carrier pays off even more. For one, I genuinely like my rep. Second, I can't ever see myself leaving as long as I receive consistent care. Third, I only contact my rep two or three times per year, and that exchange has resulted in great satisfaction versus detraction (which is the case with most customer-service interactions with big companies).
Unfortunately, this is not the norm, not even with my own mobile carrier, which I speak so highly of. Independent of me, my mobile carrier is doing a better job in the customer-service area versus its competitors, because it's trying to reverse a massive wave of customer defections. It is also leading with one of the fastest, most innovative data networks. But the personal care it gives me is not standard. I wish it were, because I would advocate my carrier like there was no tomorrow.
In the meantime, I'm cherishing the personalized service. I'm also hoping that someday my carrier will take the bold position of treating all its customers like human beings, or even VIPs. It would grant itself a huge competitive advantage.
Is treating your customers like human beings really a feasible business strategy? Yes. And I believe it could be done with my carrier. On a tactical level, it could wind down its expensive national-advertising and direct-response marketing campaigns. Instead, it could reallocate those funds to investment in its technology and customer service. That would be a huge contrast versus the competition and be highly recognized and rewarded by all mobile-carrier customers -- whose loyalty is bound by nothing more than disingenuous pricing plans and contracts.
Until then, I'll remain silent.