July 11 2008, Oh what a great day for mobile phones users in the world! And
The pre i-phone fever we lived the past few weeks sure made a whole lot of noise in the market place. The Word of Mouth generated among consumers, especially through social networks like Facebook and Twitter was nothing short of impressing.
The coverage that the brand got in
But to our friends at Apple we say: don’t you worry, if the short campaign these guys did was not enough to limit your successful launch, their anti customer loyalty strategy sure will. Don’t think so? Picture this (this actually happened 2 days ago):
Subject: Client X
- Has been a customer of the mobile company for more than 5 years.
- Has 2 smartphones a TREO and a BlackBerry this last with an additional data transmission package purchased too.
- Has done 2 packages up grades in the last 2 years to have access to the newest equipments.
Situation: he goes into one of their “Client Service” offices with the full intention of happily doing a new up grade (yes he is once more willing to pay more) to get his new i-phone.
Mobile company sales rep answer: “I’m sorry sir, this equipment is only available to new contracts and not to current customers for equipment up grade, and we don’t even know when it will be available for them, but if you happen to have a phone from our competitor come back on the 17th with this form filled out and we’ll give you your new phone and you can keep your old number”.
Client X reaction: thinking “Should I take my business to the company with the little green elfs?”
Can you believe it? Isn’t this outrageous? I mean, I can appreciate how desperate they are to maintain their continuously declining market penetration (no wonder why) and how anxious they are to capture customers from their competitors, but at what price?
This only reminds us how we need to ask ourselves: Are we sacrificing the satisfaction of our current loyal customers who now a days keep our business profitable in order to attract new ones who might not even feel any affinity with our brand? Are we really willing to let a loyal, profitable client go in exchange for a new one so we can say to ourselves “I stole him away from our competitors? Do we really want to make that mistake?