Customer Retention Strategy: AT&T, You’re Doin’ It Wrong

How loyal are your customers to you?

I’ve been with one service provider, AT&T, for years–dutifully paying my invoice month after month. They never really offered exceptional service, or even the best pricing. But none of their competitors had ever given me a compelling enough reason to leave, either. So, I stuck with the devil I knew.

Do your customers come back because they appreciate your products and service? Or, are you just the devil they know?

The mysterious customer retention department…

Customer Retention: Going Down like the TitanicI recently learned that AT&T has what’s called a “customer retention department.” Apparently if you call customer service threatening to leave, you get transferred to another customer service department–one that tempts you into sticking around with a discount or a free upgrade.

I never spoke to the customer retention department, though. This time when my contract came up for renewal, sick to death of ever-rising costs and spotty service, I just left without saying a word.

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Your customer retention department can do nothing to retain customers they never speak to. That’s why your entire company should be a customer retention department. Your marketing strategy must include ways to keep your existing customers happy.

What’s your customer retention strategy?

It costs less to retain a customer you already have than to acquire one you don’t. So why do so many companies dedicate huge marketing budgets to customer acquisition, with a comparatively tiny (or even non-existent) chunk going to customer retention?

Friendly service, providing real value in exchange for your customer’s dollar, rewards programs, even a simple thank you note can go a long way toward earning your customers’ loyalty.

If you need ideas for what you can do to keep your existing customers coming back for more, give me a shout. I’m here to help.

  Discuss This Article

Comments: 6

  • Pat Burchett says:

    I have experienced the same problem with the so called retention office. My bill is never correct and you can’t reach
    anyone in the retention office even if they give you a name and an I.D. number. I have tried without success. Very frustrated with att.

  • Stu says:

    No such thing as customer loyalty anymore. If they’re not in a contract they can leave at anytime. Why give someone a Better deal if the only guarantee they will stay is their word? Thats bad business decision making. Sorry you feel you arent getting treated special because youre not.

  • JT says:

    I’ve seen retention in AT&T, Verizon and Sprint in terms of mobile. I’ve also dealt with them in cable. I’m surprised this is the first you’ve heard of this practice.

  • Steven says:

    AT&T customer sevice and retention dept are the absolute worst imaginable. After hours on the phone and not receiving promised call backs I’m counting the days until my contract ends. Considering organizing a class action suit because I was told there would be no change to my existing plan upon upgrade and my plan was changed. AT&T is deceptive and dishonest.

  • Kevin says:

    Received an Iphone 6 ordered off on the launch day Sept 19th and returned it VIA mail on the 21st and they charged me a $35 restocking fee? 9 years never a day late or a dollar short and you do a customer that way? Ported out yesterday 2 lines to another carrier. I have had enough with ATT and their deceptive practices. Do a few customer that way and it adds up. Wonder how many others they have done this way. OH and they did credit my INACTIVE account that $35 back. Key words being “INACTIVE ACCOUNT”.

  • Michael T says:

    I have been lied to for the last time by AT&T representatives. I believe the first one tried but the was no follow through on the half price promise, now I am being told they never made that promise even though they credited my account one months fees to make up for the full price for two months. Waiting for another supervisor to call be. That’s ok, I have time to serf the cable company while wait.

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