And the winner is …

StandoutsmileA few weeks ago, my cell phone started shutting down within hours of a supposedly full charge.  Knowing it would cost me over $200 to get out of the contract (signed just BEFORE they stopped offering three-year contracts), I went online and tried every single suggested solution to fix the problem. Nothing worked.  I resorted to not leaving the house without my charger. After almost a month of frustration, I realized there was only one solution … bite the bullet and get a new phone.

First, I went to my current provider, hoping that as a long-term customer who used them for a variety of other services and who signed the three-year contract just before they phased it out, they might totally surprise me by offering me something better than the $200 fee.  I got exactly what I expected … nothing.

So, I decided to research other service providers. After all … if I was going to have to pay the money regardless, I might as well take some time to see what other options were out there, right? Turns out there were quite a few that offered me a better plan for less money.

The one that got my business?  Virgin Mobile and here’s why. Amy is finally back home from her year-long adventure and needed a phone number for her job search.  That meant she needed a service provider. Virgin Mobile was our first stop.  Desiree was very friendly. She answered all of Amy’s questions. She also asked Amy questions about her travel over the last year.  I followed Amy to other providers in the mall.  None were as friendly as Desiree. Some were completely unenthusiastic about a potential new customer. No smiles at all. In some cases, I’m pretty sure the person working was hoping that if he (or she) was slow enough acknowledging Amy, she would just go away.  In the end, Amy chose Virgin Mobile.  While she was getting everything arranged with Desiree, Ian saw I was looking at phones.  He walked over and answered all of my many questions.

I wasn’t able to sign a contract that day as I didn’t have all the information I needed with me.  The next day, I went back, picked my new phone and completed the paperwork. I didn’t bother checking out the other providers Amy had visited the day before. Virgin Mobile’s rate plans were almost exactly the same as the other providers.  It was their friendly professionalism that set them apart.  Even if the cost would have been slightly higher, I would have paid the difference simply because of the service provided.

Virgin Mobile is a big company, but it wasn’t the company name that convinced me to do business with them. It was two people, working in a kiosk in a mall, that made all the difference.

Chances are, there are a lot of companies that offer a product or service similar to yours. The reason you get the business over your competitors may be as simple as a smile.

 

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