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A Great Service Encounter Courtesy of Cincinnati Bell

Cincinnati Bell WirelessCustomer service is marketing.  In fact it is one of the most important elements of marketing.  You may not initially think of it that way.  Many equate marketing to advertising.  I would bet that if you asked most people about Cincinnati Bell’s marketing, they would say “who is Cincinnati Bell?”  Those who actually know  of Cincinnati Bell might likely mention recent ad campaigns featuring Nick Lachey as a either a kind of Santa like pitch man handing out phones or running around town being chased by screaming girls like something from an old Beatles movie because he has wifi enabled on his phone.  Their advertising, like most advertising,  is good, not great.  It is not something that you would feel compelled to remark about.  Their customer service however, is remarkable – hence my post.

A few days ago our Cincinnati Bell Wireless bill arrived in the mail.  Normally, I don’t pay much attention to bills, but it seemed a lot heavier than usual, so I opened it.  It turns out that we went over our allocation of minutes by quite a bit.  The added weight was due all of the extra pages detailing the numerous calls we made last month.  While there were several logical reasons for this anomaly in usage, the bottom line was that our monthly bill had nearly doubled.  AAAGGHHH!

I reviewed the bill with my wife, and it looked as if it checked out.  Yes we had some valid reasons for the extra calls, but we clearly went over our allotted minutes.  It looked like we were going to have to suck it up and pay the higher amount.

I decided that it might be worth making a call to Cincinnati Bell’s customer service line to see if they might be able to help us out.  Based on my experiences with other cell phone providers I was not very optimistic about what was about to happen.  I figured that I would be given the run around, passed to a manager, and told TOO DAMN BAD – but I am a glutton for punishment so I called anyway.

To my pleasant surprise, I was treated to the best customer service I have ever experienced from a mobile phone provider.  My call was quickly answered by a nice young woman named Jennifer.  I explained my situation to her, and that I was clearly at fault.  I said I know that you don’t have to help me, but I was hoping that you might be able to do something.  She could have easily said no, and I would have paid.  Again, I was at fault.  This would have been a satisfactory response.  But because Cincinnati Bell apparently views this as an opportunity to market their services, they did something remarkable.

Jennifer did a little research and informed me that Cincinnati Bell had a new program that would increase my minutes and LOWER my bill.  Because she valued my business, she said that she would apply this plan retroactively – lowering my old bill too!  No hassle.  No passing me to a manager.  I had a problem.  She fixed it and actually improved my situation without me having to ask.  That is great marketing.

I then asked Jennifer to connect me to her manager.  When her manager got on the line I took a minute to compliment Jennifer and the service offered by Cincinnati Bell.  I told her that now I understand why Cincinnati Bell does not require customers to have contract – because they take care of their customers.  I finished the call by informing her that I would be writing a post about the entire experience on my web site and telling everyone I know about how wonderful Cincinnati Bell Wireless is to work with.

So back to Marketing.  The most powerful form of Marketing is Word of Mouth marketing.  By creating a remarkable service experience, one that is so different from the competition, Cincinnati Bell Wireless gave me something to talk about.  I am now spreading the word for them – free of charge and in a way that resonates more than any advertisement.  Bottom line.  If you are shopping for cell phone providers and customer service is important to you, I encourage you to check out Cincinnati Bell Wireless.

Thanks to Jennifer and the Cincinnati Bell Wireless team for fixing my bill and making my night and giving me something to write about.

Cincinnati Bell Customer Support Overview