If you thought that price drops were all of the wireless carrier competition, here’s a new category: home delivery of smartphones. Sprint is preparing to start delivering smartphones to the homes of customers who are eligible for upgrades, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The idea has come straight from current Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, who ran a few cell phone stores in Boston back in the 1990s. The home delivery programs overseen by Claure involved experts who drove to customer homes in order to set up the new devices. Claure says that the new smartphone home delivery program will allow customers to get expert advice on how to use their new device(s) to its highest potential: “There are so many new features, in many cases customers wouldn’t even know where to start to make sure they’re taking a full advantage of all the new things the phone has to offer,” Claure said.
There is some benefit to smartphone home deliveries. First, customers can get their upgrades and take advantage of them at any time – which may increase the number of smartphone upgrades Sprint receives each year. There are a number of customers who choose not to upgrade every two years because they don’t have time for in-store visits or don’t want to deal with crowds and long lines. A smartphone home delivery program would allow customers to bypass long lines, special in-store appointments, and the inconvenience of store visits. Customers could upgrade on the day, at any point, and have someone drive out to their home for setup and to provide answers to customer questions.
Next, customers could have demo presentations at their homes of special features of their new smartphone(s), which could cut down the overwhelming nature of high-end smartphones for some customers. Rather than a person needing to sign up for a carrier smartphone training class or visit an Apple store to ask questions, Sprint would meet customers where they are and improve customer loyalty.
As of now, Sprint looks to start its smartphone home delivery program in Kansas City (near the carrier’s headquarters), followed by Miami and Chicago by April’s end. Eventually, the smartphone home delivery program will make its way across the United States. Sprint also says that it intends to hire contractors to drive to customer locations, providing them with training to help customers at the door.