Better customer service coming from cell phone companies?

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There’s an old rule of marketing that says it costs 10 times the money to get a new customer than to keep a customer happy that you already have. That figure can vary by industry, but there’s always a huge amount of outlay to gain new customers when it comes to advertising, sales and commissions.

That’s a lesson that has long been lost on the tone deaf ears of the cell phone industry. The wireless industry has boomed for the last 15 years. The cost of cell phone use dropped by more than 90% once the monopoly on cell phones was busted and more carriers got in the game. That’s when customer use really exploded. Now we’ve reached the point about year and a half ago where everybody in the country who wanted a cell phone pretty much had one. So it’s become a zero-sum game.

I follow the industry at FierceWireless.com, an insider kind of website where I get metrics on the number of signups and the number of churns among the cell carriers. And what I’m seeing is that there’s practically nobody left to sign up anymore as a new customer!

So going forward, the game for the cell phone companies will be about doing what they need to keep you happy. If you are having a problem with your cell phone company and it seems they’re incapable of hearing you, know that they’re more likely to hear you today than they were 6 months ago. I’ll eat crow if I’m wrong about this, but I can pretty much guarantee you a better experience.

Another thing that’s going on is the wireless industry is adopting profitability index scores, much like the banks. So let’s say you have a beef, or you’re thinking about leaving your company, and you call them up. Well, they have a numerical value they’ve given you that will determine how much they’ll do for you. (The profitability index score tells them how much profit you represent to them. The length of your business relationship with them doesn’t matter.)

You’ll be able to tell how high or low your score is based on how much or how little they do to move heaven and earth to help you!



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