As previously discussed, MVNO’s need to Differentiate themselves to best serve their dealers and customers. This brings us to the concept of Alignment. Alignment is the agreement between two parties with regards to goods or services that are to be delivered. Knowing what your supplier (in our case, what the carrier or MVNO is capable of delivering) can do and depending on a steady flow of product, information and backroom services is critical for the dealer’s success.
For example, you wouldn’t call the local hardware store to order a pizza, nor would you expect to get a new cell phone at you dry cleaners. Instead, when you walk into a mobile phone location, whether it be a recognized national brand, a large independent chain that looks like a Verizon, Boost, T-Mobile, AT&T, etc., or a small Mom & Pop located down the block, you as a customer expect to get information that will lead to a purchase of mobile equipment or service and trust that your dealer is in alignment with the policies and procedures of the carrier that you have chosen.
I have stated many times that “churn is a factor made worse by the actions of certain dealers.” While the majority of wireless dealers do not play in the churn and burn game, it seems very strange to me the amount of churn for many prepaid customers comes after day ninety-one of service; the same day that the dealer has earned their full commission. Did thousands of customers suddenly decide that the service stinks? Not when unscrupulous dealers see the opportunity to simply insert a new sim card from an MVNO that operates on the same MNO and tell the customer, “it’s the same network you’re on now, just a different carrier name will show up on your screen.” Bingo, new commission.
MVNOs that work closely with their dealers can build the kind of trust and provide information to build true alignment. Having volume commitments, contest, or other incentives can help to stem some of the unnatural acts that occur on the retail sales floor. Some dealers offer a free accessory for staying past the 3-4 month commission commitment. Carriers offer great values like “4 for $100” or two months free (at the back end of a 12 month period) to keep their customers more sticky. And many MVNOs talk directly to their customers to help ensure that they don’t leave for the competition.
Whatever you are doing to align with your dealers and subscribers speaks to who you are and what your brand represents. The independent wireless dealer faces many challenges and has a lot of options. Communicating with them should be at the top of your list, whether face to face or in these Covid-19 times, electronically.
How can you find help in doing this? Adam Wolf, President of the National Independent Wireless Dealer Association (www.nwida.org) and Mark Landiak, CEO of Corporate Dynamics will be hosting the first Dealer Success Summit (#DSS21) this May, which is officially Independent Wireless Retailer Month.
Each weekday in May, DSS21 will feature from a top industry executive (like John Dwyer, CEO of Cricket and Peter Adderton, founder of Boost Mobile) providing a keynote on The Future of Wireless. Leading wireless suppliers will contribute to Making Money in Wireless, with new revenue streams and the most successful dealers in the country, from across brands, will talk with other dealers and repair shops, sharing their strategies, tips and knowledge. Yours truly will also be making an appearance, sharing insights from over thirty years spent in our industry.
Fixit Fridays will concentrate on the wireless repair shops, with sessions including CellBotics, Repair.org, USPIRG, Injured Gadgets, iFixit and more. And in their legal track they will be chatting with the top telecom attorneys on things like anti-trust, landlord issues, legal forms every shop should be using, landlord issues and more.
Attendees can watch the sessions on any connected device, and on any day until August! They can click through to any exhibitor booth and chat with them, view videos and download product information.
It’s the only show with content BY wireless dealers FOR wireless dealers. There are sessions for pre-paid dealers, post-paid dealers and more.
While this might sound like a commercial for this event, it’s important that carriers, MVNOs, wholesalers and dealers all be in ALIGNMENT with the ever-changing issues that face our industry. Attending is as simple as registering at link.nwida.org/dss21
We hope to see you there. In the meantime, April is already half over and we are in the middle of “tax-time,” traditionally the busiest time of the year for wireless dealers. Have you, the MVNO, given your dealers all of the tools they need to make this Spring their most successful yet? Here’s hoping for continued record activations and equipment sales in an industry that has truly shined during these difficult times.