Shocking Idea: Give Discounts To Long Term Customers
from the what-will-they-think-of-next? dept
It's a common refrain that too many companies focus solely on new sales, to the point that they ignore existing customers and treat them badly when it comes to customer service. The old trick for measuring this is to see how long it takes to get a human on the phone if you call for sales vs. calling for customer support. This is, of course, incredibly short-sighted in a world where ongoing customer relationships and reputation are important. It's even odder to see it in a competitive subscription-based business where catering to the customers you already have seems to make so much more sense. They're already giving you money after all. However, the mobile phone business is a perfect example of this happening. All the various cheap deals on new fancy mobile phones are usually only offered to new customers. The old customers have to pay much higher rates. It appears that Virgin Mobile is looking to change this around a bit. The company that really built up the MVNO concept of building a mobile phone operator without owning the actual network, is starting a new program where customers who stay on for more than twelve months get the option to cut their fees or get a new phone. They're realizing that customers who stay with them over the long term pay off the extra subsidy on the handset within the first twelve months -- so there's no reason to keep charging that after those twelve months are up. While other carriers will scoff and some will wonder if Virgin is leaving money on the table, if customers buy into this program of rewarding loyalty, it could change how other operators price some of their offerings.