Monday, December 07, 2009

Save money, listen to your customers

AT&T and Verizon have been doing a bit of bickering lately, which has attracted plenty of media attention. Verizon has run ads disparaging AT&T’s network, and AT&T filed a lawsuit against Verizon (which was later dropped) and run counter-attack ads.

What AT&T needs to understand is this: Verizon didn’t say anything that people didn’t know already. Ask any iPhone user what their biggest complaint is, and 9 times out of 10 you will hear, “The network.” In fact, consumer reports just verified the general consensus in their latest “Cell-phone service” survey, in which AT&T came in dead last. Verizon simply listened to AT&T’s customers and broadcasted the message.

In my opinion, AT&T handled this horribly. Verizon took AT&T customer’s biggest complaint, and turned it into an ad campaign. AT&T is spending millions defending their honor and even running counter ads claiming that their network is superior.

Wouldn't that money have been better spent by admitting the problem and vowing to fix it?  Instead, AT&T wasted money trying to convince their customers (the public) they were wrong.

The business lesson we can take out of this: Listen to your customers. When they say that you have a problem, don’t try to convince them that they’re wrong…fix the problem! If your customers request features, or make product suggestions…listen to them. You’ll save a ton of money and create happy customers.


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