Sprint: A CRM Lesson Waiting to Be Learned

Sprint has recently announced that due to decreasing calls to its customer service lines, the company will close a number of its call centers. During these tough economic times, I can’t help but find Sprint’s announcements ironic.

What I found even more ironic was the fact that Sprint’s CIO was quoted in this article as saying that the company will continue to focus heavily on the customer experience:

But by continuing to focus on improving the customer experience, strengthening our brand and increasing profitability, we believe we are transforming Sprint and we will be positioned to succeed despite the economy.

Yet at the same time the company also intends to spend more money on advertising in 2009, more than AT&T or Verizon.

I’ve blogged about Sprint, and their difficulties providing consistent customer service, in the past. The company has become notorious with poor customer, product service, and product offerings and has become a prime example of how undermining your customer service initiatives by outsourcing them is a great way to drive yourself out of business.

Nor do I see how closing call centers while at the same time increasing spending on advertising is a long term solution. That strategy flies in the face of one of the longest held doctrines of CRM: acquiring new customers is more expensive then keeping current ones.

But then again, with the way Sprint is dropping customers, I can understand how the company could have an excess number of CSRs in the coming months.