Cellphone rewards?

In another report by the guys at COLLOQUY, found here, there are rumblings that cell phone carriers might look more carefully at a type of loyalty or rewards program for heavy mobile users. While this is news to me, heavy cell phone users are expressing widespread interest in a cellphone loyalty program to reward them for their usage. Currently, these heavy users (i.e. most profitable customers) feel a bit neglected and unappreciated by the large carriers, the report claims. I think this would be a brilliant idea to institute a loyalty scheme for all cell phone users, not just the heavy users. It is amazing that the guys at Cingular/AT&T and Verizon haven’t thought of this yet. The loyalty options are limitless and could be applied to drive usage of text messaging or cellphone gaming etc. The carriers seem to be late to the loyalty game and need to start thinking of what increased loyalty could do for their customer churn and up-selling and cross-selling of products/services. The most obvious answer to the question of why haven’t mobile phone carriers instituted loyalty programs is that they feel it’s unnecessary to reward captive customers who are locked into contracts. They’d just be giving up unnecessary margin. The trade-off between short-term economics (i.e. Wall Street quarterly reporting) and long-term customer growth and retention (i.e. long-term profitability) is tricky. As a moderate cell phone user, I would certainly be interested in a loyalty program. At a minimum, it would just send me a message that they care about their customers.

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