Dealing with cell phone companies has provided some of the best examples of how not to treat customers. I must talk to 20 people that hate their cell phone provider for every person who is satisfied.
Here are a few suggestions for cell phone companies I’m certain they will ignore:
- Don’t lock me into a 2-year contract – I understand this is difficult when people expect a free or very inexpensive subsidized phone, but I’d rather pay more for a phone and not be locked into a contract. Every month I remain an unhappy customer (or pay the $150-$200 early termination fee) is a month I’m building feelings of hatred towards your company. Why not let me go elsewhere rather than ensuring I’ll never try you again?
- Provide a realistic monthly fee estimate – You know that $60/month plan is going to cost $85/month. Why not tell me that right from the start? Surprises suck.
- Make removing features as easy as adding them – If I can add additional features to my service from your website I should be able to remove them there as well. Don’t waste my time by making me call a customer service rep who’s only job is to keep me from canceling the feature or upselling me on “new” feature.
- Allow your CSRs to make reasonable decisions – I’ve called in to make basic changes to my account and been told I’d have to speak with another department, a supervisor or call another number. Stop the run-a-round and help me!
- Notify me of new deals – It really sucks to hear about a new plan with more minutes, more features at a lower price from a new customer when I’ve been a loyal customer for years. If my plan changes, let me know. I shouldn’t have to call in to receive special deals. If you are pro-active, I’ll remember it and become even more loyal.
- Provide easy and fast activation – Verizon does a decent job here. If I want to activate a new phone at 2 am, I should be able to do that instead of calling back during business hours.
- Treat me like you value my business – This is the most important. I’m going to talk and blog about your service. Would you rather I tell potential customers to give your service a try or to avoid it like the plague?
I want to like my cell phone company. I had a horrendous experience with Sprint before I moved to Verizon. Verizon isn’t perfect but they are pretty good and getting better.