I am one of those marketing geeks that signs up for every promotion, email list, direct mail list, etc.  I am always fascinated to see what people are doing – good and bad.  But, I draw the line at the telephone.  Send me 100 texts a day, but I hate being on the phone.  I dont really know why, I just do.

And that is why I love DirectTV!  Being a “phone hater” means that when I have to call customer support for anything I cringe.  The idea of wading through countless levels of automated interactivity annoys me to no end WHEN it doesn’t result in getting me to the right place faster.  My personal pet pieve is when they ask you to enter your account # and the first thing the CSR does when they get on the phone is ask for your account number. REALLY!?!

In the last 3 months, I have had to call DirectTV two times because our box was acting up.  Both times (so I know it was not a fluke), I was speaking to a live person in moments, they were friendly, they walked me through how to fix the problem and we were done.  The process was painless and both times, the problem was resolved without me being transferred.  Furthermore, at the end of the conversation, they did not ask if I was satisfied enough to fill out a survey in their favor so I wasn’t made to feel like they were only courteous and helpful in order to get a good grade.

As you probably already know, DirectTV has had a long standing referral program that you get $100 if a friend of yours signs up and they get a $100 when they sign up.  (The $100 is only good toward your DirectTV bill.)  They do a good job advertising it which is one reason it is successful.  But, let’s face it, people would not share this deal with their friends if they didn’t want to keep DirectTV because the reward wouldn’t be valuable.  So a great product (and yes, customer service is most definitely part of their product) is a vital component to a successful social incentive sharing program.

Now, if I had to provide any criticism of DirectTV, it is that they only know that customers have shared them when their friend calls to sign up.  My suggestion, use a tool that allows people to email their friends announcing the offer and collect the data.  It’s a great way to follow up and stay front of mind.  But, as the old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” So, good job DirectTV and let’s the rest of us learn this valuable formula:

Excellent Customer Service + A Social Incentive Sharing Program = HUGE SUCCESS!

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