We Bring Technology to Market.

Work with us

All you can eat from Sprint, and customer centricity, too

By Francis Moran

Regular readers of this blog will know that we have many a beef with the wireless carriers that operate here in Canada, and we don’t believe the options available south of the border are all that much better. (See here and here.) So I was delighted to see a television commercial Sunday night that scored big points with me on many fronts for Sprint, one of the major carriers in the U.S. I don’t watch much television so perhaps this ad has been playing for a while now, but it was new to me, and I liked it.

First, the commercial was well done. The approach was not startlingly novel; it uses Sprint president and CEO Dan Hesse as the spokesperson for the company and shoots him walking slowly towards the camera in an urban vista. Standard stuff, except that the ad is in black and white, which was the first thing that set it apart.

The second, and far more important, thing was that the commercial did not talk about all the things wireless and other telephone companies usually like to talk about, like network reliability, and service coverage, and call quality and so on. This one talked about what the customer really wants.

Hesse had me at his opening line. “If you could change the way wireless companies did things,” he asked, “What would you do?” Then he answered the question exactly as I would. “Use your phone for all the great things it can do without worrying about the meter running.”

He went on to call it a “wireless revolution,” and “pretty awesome.”

Well, not so much. More like a good idea copied from European carriers that have been selling all-you-can-eat plans for some time now and, like my British colleague Danny’s £35/month plan, at a lower cost than Sprint’s US$100/month Simply Everything plan.

Still, it was refreshing in so many ways.

Hesse was careful to introduce himself as the “new CEO,” telegraphing that the company was going to change on his watch. Further evidence of that change came at last week’s CTIA Wireless show in Las Vegas where he unveiled his WiMAX strategy that he believes gives his company a two-year headstart on its competitors.

The clincher, though, was the final image in the commercial — a lingering slide showing only one thing, Hesse’s email address, dan@sprint.com, presumably an open invitation to get in direct touch with the new CEO.

As your humble servant, I did just that yesterday. The auto-responder kicked back an immediate reply; the real-world response will take a little longer. “A representative from my office” will take “about a week” to get back to me, I was advised. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, you can see the ad for yourself.

Join us

Events We're Attending:

  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description
  • image description