Key To Reducing Churn — Moblogs?

A company’s come out with a new study saying that moblogs can reduce churn by 70%. Of course, the company behind the survey sells moblogging software, so I’m a little skeptical. I can’t imagine that moblogs would give people a reason to stay with a particular carrier ahead of other things like pricing, coverage or service but there’s one way I can think of that moblogs could engender customer loyalty — lock-in.

Carriers are used to locking customers to their service with measures like long-term contracts with high early-termination fees, and locked handsets. They’re pretty effective, but don’t always apply to prepaid users or because of regulatory restrictions. That’s where these kind of “soft” lock-ins come into play. They foster loyalty not because people necessarily want to stay, but because if they leave, they’ll miss out on something.

The company says the biggest barrier to operators is getting people to use the blogs. Sure it is — because the more a person posts to their moblog, the more they’ve got to lose should it disappear. It’s the same idea for carriers that only let users get photos off their phones by uploading them to a carrier photo-album service. If somebody stands to lose photos they care about because they want to switch carriers, they’ll think twice.

It’s possible to make the argument that this is a competitive differentiation, or something like that. But instead of doing it through lock-in, why not do it by offering the best open service possible? License something like Cognima Snap, or help users get Lifeblog going. Offer them an easy way to post their content to an open system; don’t hold their photos, content and memories ransom.

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