Following the implementation of its “Cut Your Bill in Half Event!”—which started earlier this year and featured commercials of wireless customers using ninja swords, chainsaws and weed whackers to literally cut their bills in half—Sprint has unveiled yet another strategy to keep from falling behind long-time competitor, T-Mobile. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Sprint will be providing home-delivery of new cell phones.
The new program, to be offered to customers in the Kansas City area first, followed by Miami and Chicago later this month, will function by emailing or texting existing customers when they are eligible for a new phone or upgrade. Rather than shopping online or driving to the nearest Sprint store, customers will be given the option of having their new device delivered to their house by contractors who will be employed in thousands of Sprint-branded vehicles. The offer will be especially useful for customers who may have difficulty setting up their new smartphones.
Upon delivery, representatives can help customers configure their new devices for use.
The service, which will eventually be offered coast to coast, is one of several attempts the Sprint has recently made to avoid falling below T-Mobile, which would place it last among service providers in the U.S. Other recent efforts aimed at coping with the hemorrhaging of millions of customers over the past few years included the rebranding of about 1,400 RadioShack locations to more than double its brick-and-mortar footholds. Both of these new initiatives would appear aimed at increasing customer service transparency.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the new service is based on a home delivery offering conceptualized by CEO Marcelo Claure while he was running various cellphone stores in the greater Boston area during the late ‘90s. And while it seemed to payoff back then, there is no way to be certain that the new service will be novel enough now, especially with such a massive consumer base of digital immigrants who are mobility savvy, many of who prefer digital customer service methods. That said, modern customers like fast results, and if the nationwide application of Sprint-branded vehicles cuts down on waiting time for standard shipping methods, we can expect to see some definite gains.
Sprint will be reporting first quarter results within the next few weeks. It will be interesting to compare Sprint’s standing at the end of this quarter against second quarter results, and to determine if the human touch of home delivery pays off.
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