So my investigative feature “Sprint’s Wake-up Call” has been burning up the Web. It’s been the most read, emailed and discussed story on BW.com for the last four days, with 96 comments and counting. Many thanks to a bunch of bloggers for linking to the story, including the diva blogger herself Arianna Huffington, super-activist site The Consumerist, and the tech mavens at GigaOm and CrunchGear.
Over the next few days, I hope to share more of my reporting and thoughts with readers on this blog and BusinessWeek.com that explains why Sprint Nextel has consistently delivered the worst customer service of the U.S. wireless industry, which arguably means the worst customer in America given that cell phone providers consistently rank at the bottom of industry customer satisfaction surveys.
One theme that did not make it into the final version of the story is the incredible turnover that Sprint Nextel has seen in its management of customer service. Over the last 17 months, four different people have run customer service: Cindy Rock, Timothy E. Kelly, Steve Nielsen and Bob Johnson. Last October, Johnson took over as Chief Service Officer from Nielsen, whose tenure only lasted six months. Rock left the company in 2007, according to her LinkedIn profile, and Kelly was one of three top execs to be let go on January 24, one month after new CEO Dan Hesse took over.
What’s the impact on operations? Well, as one former senior executive told me: “It puts things on pause for three to four months. You can’t be successful. You need to have more stability in an organization.”
When I ran this point by Johnson, he said, “I am in a role that I hope to be in for a long time.” Sprint’s customers can only hope he is right on that count.
HOW TO BUY CREATIVE CAPITAL: To pre-order Creative Capital and get a 34% discount, click here and go to Amazon