Recently I had the opportunity to experience Sprint Customer Care up close and personal. I have been a Sprint wireless customer for many years with my first Handspring Visor with a Sprint Springboard cell phone module. I was an early adopter of the convergence of technology. Seldom have I needed to contact Sprint Customer Service or should I say lack thereof, to address a problem I was having on a phone.
Recently I added a line for my grandson to my cell phone plan and got him a new Samsung Reclaim phone. I was setting up the phone which has full web and email capabilities. For some reason could not get his email to work on the phone.
I would get an error message so I called Sprint customer care and the tech on the other end said he would reset the phone/account and that would remove the issue. He also told me he would call back in 10 minutes to see if it now worked. Well 10 minutes passed and he did not call back, nor did the phone email system work.
The next day I decided to stop in at a local Sprint service center to have them check out the keyboard issue I was having on my phone and ask about the email issue on my grandson’s phone. Well of course when I brought my phone in, the keyboard worked, so then I asked about the error message on the phone. The CSR, looked at the phone and asked about the error message.
He had never heard of it. I said was there anyway to look it up to troubleshoot it? He said, “nope” and offered to swap out the phone. Since I knew the email system worked on other email addresses, but not my grandson’s, I said that was a non-solution. He then asked me where I bought the phone, to which I responded from Sprint.com, tow which is suggested I call Sprint technical support as he could not do anything for me.
I walked out of the store puzzled. Since I bought the phone from Sprint.com the local Sprint owned store could not help Me??? What kind of customer service is that? I guess Sprint.com is not part of Sprint?
It is no wonder that cell phone carriers have such lousy reputations in this country. They lock you into contracts that are costly to get out of and offer poor customer service that does not create any customer loyalty.Trouble is, switching phone companies will yield the same results as friends of mine that are on other services also complain about lousy customer support.
At the software company I once worked, we talked about moving from the business model of sales and marketing to one of customer service. This is where every one in the company would be on the same team to provide the ultimate in customer service. We may not have arrived at the full CS level, but were were close. There were times when everyone pitched in to help out a client issue. I believe this helped the company become “number one” in its space.
So there lies an opportunity for a cell phone company to see that customer service is a component of their business model that is lacking and if they improve this feature and also provide excellent coverage, can they differentiate themselves from all the others and capture a lion’s share of the market.