AT&T – Reactive vs. Proactive

As much as I hate to steal a title or a good joke, I want to title this post iPhone Outage? There’s An App For That. Why? Because it’s funny.

So why am I talking about reactive vs. proactive? In case you haven’t seen it yet, AT&T recently came out with an app called AT&T Mark The Spot. The idea behind the app is that if you have a dropped call or bad reception, that you open the app, click your problem and it will mark the spot by sending the information to AT&T. I am still not entirely sure how this app works in an area where there is NO reception, how does it know where you are to tell AT&T?

But I guess that’s a little beside my point. My point is that if AT&T had done this when no one was complaining of service issues, they would be considered geniuses. But since they waited until Verizon was taking potshots at them with their 3G map commercials and New York and San Francisco (the 2 locations in the US with the highest density of AT&T smart phones) started having serious connectivity, coverage, and consistency issues, it was reactive and borderline pathetic. One thing that should be noted is that AT&T is not doing this in replacement of testing their own network. I have no idea where that myth came from and can’t imagine why it holds any credibility. Because they are being reactive with this tool, they are considered trying to recover.

I actually think that although they are behind the power curve, this is actually fairly ingenious. This is a classic case of the squeaky wheel gets the grease. The places with the most common issues will likely get the most attention the quickest. It’s a good customer service move but might be a bit too late to save a lot of customers.

In the future, being proactive instead of reactive (no matter how nifty your reactiveness is) is the way to go. It can not only save you customers (if that’s the business you are in), but it can also get you a leg up in your market or your job. Plan ahead and act ahead.

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