On Friday, The Wall Street Journal had a story about how the efforts to improve customer service have helped Sprint's standing in the eyes of the consumer.
Specifically, it pointed to how Sprint Nextel moved into a virtual tie with Verizon in the Consumer Reports customer satisfaction rating.
Admitting that they had lost their focus, Sprint made some fundamental changes.
Bob L. Johnson, Sprint's chief service officer is responsible for the carrier's handling of its customers, had discovered the company's customer care agents were being made to focus on metrics that would limit costs but not actually solve problems. Not only were the agent grated on time," or how quickly they ended calls with customers, but they were also pressured to act as sales representatives with goals to extend contracts.
Mr. Johnson said his first priority was to focus his staff on resolving a customer's problems on the first call, no matter how long it took. He also emphasized a new metric: an agent's empathy level and how successful they were at making customers feel that they were important.
Apparently this approach is working.
According to Sprint's data, the carrier's rate of solving problems on the first call rose to nearly 74% in the fourth quarter of this year from 53% in the first quarter of 2008.
The article also noted that Sprint's CEO, Dan Hesse is "far from satisfied." That, in a way, is a great sign for consumers as Sprint's efforts will only get better.
Things seem to be going as planned. Here's an ad from March 2010.
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Read Merciful by Casey Adolfsson