The information age and the internet changed everything. Knowledge is power and consumers are more informed today than ever before.  The internet has allowed consumers to bypass the gatekeepers along the information highway and shifted the power of knowledge squarely in the hands of the consumer. 

Consumers who were once at the mercy of trained professionals to educate them on specific products, services or relevant options are now showing up with their purchasing power as well-informed consumers. The switch is flipped, and it’s about time companies flipped the switch as well.

Customers can learn a million things from the Internet and the digital realm, but there is one thing the internet can’t produce, an emotional bond. Search engines have made all of the world’s information available at a moment’s notice, but there is one thing it will never be able to do.  Search engines can't replicate human engagement, which is what creates the emotional bond that leads to true brand loyalty.

John Legere has provided an excellent example of forward thinking. Mr. Legere has humanized T-Mobile in an industry that historically has had extremely low NPS scores, which indicate overall customer dissatisfaction, by realizing one very simple truth.  Perception is reality.  A customers’ perception is their reality whether it is true or not.  If a customer perceives that the company is indifferent about retaining them as a customer, they have a greater chance of churning.  Mr. Legere has gone against the grain and is showing how T-Mobile is loyal to their customers by providing tangible benefits for being a T-Mobile customer, not ambiguous digital rewards.  Experiences, not points…

He is choosing to stand out and offer experiences in a digital world, and people are noticing. Customers now have the power more than ever before and the path to success lies in the consumers’ perception of how loyal companies can now be to their customers.

I have only been in Corporate America for a few years, but it amazes me how many peoples’ first instinct is to say "no" to newer, different ideas of how business could be conducted. I believe my CEO said it best when he said "nobody gets fired for saying no".  T-Mobile has not said “no” and they are being rewarded to the tune of 13 straight quarters with at least 1 million net additions. 

When are we going to recognize we live in a different environment and start thinking from the customer perspective? When are we going to act like we want to keep our customers as much as we want to get new ones?  Will accomplishing the latter help us accomplish the former while we adapt to the changing environment we are it?  When will we realize that customer loyalty has become company loyalty and the tide has changed?

 
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you always got”

      -my mother (among others)

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