Sprint customer service

By: Alexandra Gray

Cellular carriers are famous for dropping calls, but now SPRINT is dropping customers from its system if they phone the carrier for assistance too many times during the month.

A thousand or more customers have been involuntarily terminated by SPRINT, which is sending out letters instructing customers to take their business elsewhere.

I debated the wisdom of this move on CNBC's "On the Money" the other night and claimed this denial of service is inconsistent with the founding of phone service in this country by A T & T, which undertook the task to provide it universally, no matter the difficulty, distance, or the cost.

Sprint's move creates bad public relations and bad business.

Those customers that are most likely to over-talk and over-call are the elderly, the infirm, and the lonely, and the answer to runaway calls is to train representatives to gently control conversations for length and quality. However, companies that are desperate to fatten the bottom line do precisely the wrong things.

They curtail the number of customer service helpers they have aboard, starve the ones that remain for sufficient training and supervision, and now are even trying to hack away at what they consider less profitable parts of their client base.

While still professing to have a commitment to serving, they're doing anything but, which is more than hypocritical.

It's self-defeating, and I intend to keep shouting this from the rooftops, if necessary.

I've criticized shortsighted managers already, in my 12 books, which include several best-sellers in sales and service, as well as during regular appearances as an expert commentator on CNBC and TV and radio stations, worldwide.

In this case, SPRINT can "Hear a pin drop but not the cries of its customers."

Employing a peculiar version of CRM, typically known as Customer Relationship Management, it seems more to mean, "Cut, Run, and Mow them down!"

If 1,000 SPRINT customers decided to breach their contracts in unison, I'm sure that carrier would cry, "Foul." But it believes it can do so with impunity, whenever it wishes.

SPRINT should realize if it wants customer loyalty, it must be prepared to offer it.

Dr. Gary S. Goodman is a top trainer, conference and convention speaker, and sales, service, and negotiation consultant. A frequent expert commentator on radio and TV, he is also the best-selling author of 12 books, more than 1,000 articles. and several popular audio and video programs. His seminars are sponsored internationally and he is a faculty member at more than 40 universities, including UC Berkeley and UCLA. Gary brings over two decades of sales, management and consulting experience to the table, with impressive academic credentials: A Ph.D. from the Annenberg School For Communication at USC, an MBA from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management, and a J.D. degree from Loyola Law School, His clients include several Fortune 1000 companies..

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