commentary Research in Motion, is that really all you’ve got?
After a critical outage that left some BlackBerry users without e-mail for as many as three days, RIM is offering customers $100 worth of premium apps for free. Enterprise customers also get a month’s worth of technical support.
The problem is, the BlackBerry faithful stick with you for primarily one reason: your excellent e-mail service. If they wanted games, media apps and other whiz-bang features, they would have fled to an iPhone or Android smartphone already. You lose your e-mail, even for one day, and you lose your best reason for keeping a BlackBerry.
“(RIM) has to do something really substantial, something that makes people go wow,” said Lance Strate, a professor of communications and media studies for Fordham University.
So here’s a modest proposal: work with your retail and carrier partners to get your customers early upgrades to new BlackBerrys. For some of your best customers, hand them out for free.
Already own a new BlackBerry? Throw in a Bluetooth handset or other accessory.
Sure, giving away phones sounds like sacrilege at a company that generates the bulk of its revenue from hardware, but bear with me. Such a program would buy a massive amount of goodwill from peeved customers. You could even snatch away the spotlight from Apple’s latest iPhone launch.
RIM’s BlackBerry DevCon conference starts tomorrow. Just think how different the atmosphere would be if attendees were buzzing about the new BlackBerry program instead of grousing about the outage.
There are longer-term advantages, too. You can lock in customers that may have been tempted by the new iPhone or the latest wave of Android smartphone. You’re so proud of the latest BlackBerry operating system? Here’s a great way to get more users to try it out. More