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Options for 2G Customer Holdouts
We’ve all been hearing about the 2G Sunset for a while, and hopefully, you’ve been communicating the upcoming changes to your customers. And while most customers are used to changes in technology making previous versions obsolete, there will always be a subset that doesn’t want to pay for an upgrade.
So what are your options?
Let’s start with what you shouldn’t do. It’s both illegal and unethical to take payment for a service that you are not actually providing. So if you’ve done your due diligence and have given the customer plenty of notice of the need for an upgrade and they’ve still chosen not to make the upgrade; when the system finally stops sending the monitoring signals properly, you must stop taking their money.
Assuming you want to keep the customer, you must find a way to upgrade their equipment.
You’ll be facing some stiff competition and may be very vulnerable (if you aren’t already) as some of the aggressive sales teams move into territories offering free equipment upgrades, with the latest technology and even free installation, to switch providers. To them, it’s the “cost of acquisition.”
But your cost of acquisition has already occurred, and if you have a lot of customers, the cost to offer a free upgrade for all of them can be overwhelming. Especially when considering the labor costs. So you may not be able to compete at that level.
A large attrition rate over the next year or so isn’t pretty either, so you’ll need to get creative.
Knowing what the competition is offering can help you look for ways to make it in both your best interest as well as the customer’s to upgrade and stay with you.
Could you offer a free upgrade in exchange for a longer term contract? Tiered discounts on upgrades that expire over the next six to nine months to encourage early action? Bundle additional features or services to make the upgrade package more attractive?
Look at your numbers closely. Even with this extra effort required, it’s most likely less of a cost to keep your loyal customers than to acquire new ones.
No matter what the business decision, the key is not to wait any longer in hopes that all of your customers are paying attention to the 2G Sunset and initiate the upgrade on their own. By this time next year, the gray area will be gone and you don’t want to find yourself in a position of refunding your customer’s money.
Some creative thinking now can give you more options over the course of the next year to positively impact your bottom line.
How are you dealing with upgrading your customers in advance? Send us an email and let us know. We’d love to hear what’s been working for you.