Throwback Thursday: In 2007, Sprint decided its best solution for decreasing customer complaints was to send service termination letters to its most frequent, costly complainers: 1,200 of its 53 million customers. It’s one of the greatest hate-love letter stories in brand-turn-around history.
The Thinking at The Time:
Company’s old leadership felt that those now-legendary “Sprint 1,000″ were costing the company more in customer support than they returned in revenue.
The Near-Death Experience:
- Social firestorm of scalding conversation and PR
- American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score hit industry-worst at 61
- Sprint nose-dived 32 cents on NY Stock Exchange
- Lost five million subscribers, resulting in a 32% YtY revenue decline
- The then-newly appointed CEO, Dan Hesse, made “customer experience a corporate goal”
- Role of Chief Service Officer had CEO-directed mission for brand to improve customer experiences
- Truly Listened to “what customers value”
- Improved “end-to-end customer life cycle experience” (Customer Journey)
- Identified 35-40 problems driving dissatisfaction
- Documented “ideal customer experience”
- Innovated social media program empowering employees to serve as brand ambassadors
New Life, a Customer Love Story:
- Sprint’s ACSI score climbs 10 points to industry-leading 71—biggest improvement of any company in any industry—ranked number one in call center satisfaction…and most improved the past 5 years
- J.D. Power and Associates ranked Sprint best in the purchase experience
- Revenue and subscriber growth returned to competitive level
If CEO, Marcelo Claure proves that Sprint’s love is true, it will be because Claure and his leadership team, and every single Sprint employee, listened and engaged the social-empowered voice of their customers — and became their own “Sprint Love Letters” in the form of every customer experience.