One of the reasons PhoneNews.com has managed to roll with the punches all these years, and stay so relevant in the mobile sphere, is actually pretty simple. We eat the same dog food that the average consumer puts up with.
I’ll let you in on a little secret… most of the mobile media doesn’t have to pay for cell phones. It’s not like in the auto world where that sports car is essentially a free rental. When we get devices, they’re loaded to the gills with every feature, option, and top-tier service plan. And usually, by the time we’re done reviewing that device, we have three more waiting in the labs.
Add Google Voice into the mix, and with its masked call forwarding, you really don’t need to pay for wireless service… provided you’re relevant in the mobile media, of course.
That said, it’s pretty much policy at PhoneNews.com that you pay for your cell service, and that you use the same service you would otherwise had you not signed on to PhoneNews.com as a writer.
Why? Simple. Our team takes all the early-adopter arrows you take. When we hate being in a contract, we find the ways out of it (when carriers change the rules, after all, fair is fair). When the carriers open a gaping grandfather loophole, we’re the first to tell you about it. It’s because we use the same devices, and pay for the same service plans, that you do.
This is critical in terms of providing good customer service for your company. You’ll notice, large companies that have excellent customer service don’t often cut their employees breaks on major things. Apple, for example, only recently initiated a large-size employee discount. Their employees felt the pain of paying the Apple Tax more than anyone else. It helped ensure the products they were selling, weren’t junk. Because, if it was junk, the people most likely to be stung by it were their own employees.
Likewise, just because your employees can call some help desk, or fill out some form on an Intranet, doesn’t mean the average joe can. If you’re wondering why your customers favor another company in terms of customer service, perhaps it’s time to sign up for your own company’s service, pay the same bill your customer would, and call the same (possibly incompetent) general customer service.
Then, once you’ve been stuck on hold in your own line, waiting for help you might find sub-par, and encountered the incidents that leave you asking why any company in the world would treat its customers the way your company just did… you’ll know how to start fixing those problems.
Great CEOs actually by and large do this already, but it’s something even a small business needs to try at times. If everyone in the company knows you, go local and have trusted friends be your focus group. It doesn’t matter if you have a dollar in the bank, or a hundred billion, its effectiveness will pay off dramatically on your personal bottom line.