AT&T: Does the 'Plus' Mean SPIT?
3:25 PM -- AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is trialing a new loyalty program, called AT&T Plus, for its highest-paying customers. Details on the program are slim, but it seems to me like a great opportunity to put Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) into action. (See The SPIT Manifesto 2.0.)
Plus is designed to reward AT&T's most valuable customers with special offers, direct access to customer support, even free coffee gift cards. The carrier is trialing the service in Colorado, Minneapolis and Houston, but isn't sharing the details. An AT&T spokesman only noted the trial is with a select group of its wireless customers "to get their feedback on their interest in this type of program and the benefits they’d like to have from us."
For a program like this to be effective, I imagine AT&T has some kind of tool in place to weed out its highest-margin customers from its subscriber data management and billing systems. AT&T wouldn't say, however, whether that's a software tool it's getting from a vendor or if it built its own internal application for the same function.
Either way, my hope is that they leverage SPIT technologies to make it a valuable program that goes beyond just expedited customer support. As a triple-play provider, AT&T has customer data across TV, Internet and mobile services, but so far it doesn't seem to leverage its backend knowledge.
Case in point, Light Reading Editor-in-Chief Phil Harvey has been an AT&T customer for years, but says he repeatedly gets the same offers for services he already subscribes to.
"They don't see me as one customer that buys a dozen services," he says. "They see me as a dozen customers that all happen to have the same name and live at the same address."
Sounds like a missed opportunity to me, but hopefully one AT&T will begin to rectify by launching a loyalty program Plus SPIT.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile