Remedy churn: Make customer service your top priority

IT DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE. IT INVADES EVERY WIRELESS carrier, despite the company's name, age, branding, price plans and quality of features. And, it can be lethal. The disease? Churn.

Carriers are now spending billions each year to acquire, retain and replace customers. The disease is reaching epidemic proportions and must be stopped.

Unfortunately, churn is incurable as long as customers have a choice of providers. Therefore, the challenge is not so much eliminating the disease as it is containing it.

The yearn to churn -- how can it be stopped?
Like a Hatfield-McCoy feud, local cellular providers used to fire shots back and forth, trying to lure customers away from each other. With only two choices in a market, customers could leave -- but providers knew there was always a chance they'd come back. The arrival of PCS changed the rules. With seven or more providers in a metro area, churn reduction is essential to the success of both incumbents and insurgents.

Without a cure for churn, providers must focus on the symptoms -- why do customers leave and what can be done to keep them? It's a concern that has many answers, some of which are quite costly. There is one low-cost way that you can help reduce churn: Improve customer service.

Customers frequently leave companies based on the quality of customer service, not the quality of the product or service. Your goal is to encourage employees to deliver superlative customer service, and to do it with a smile.

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