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Nervous About a Recession? Buy Stock of the Company That’s Winning Customers’ Hearts

Rahim Bhayani
TELECOM TOWERS

What if I told you that one of the big Canadian telecom companies is now selling light bulbs on its website? Would you believe me? Further, would you actually fall off your chair if I told you that this was a great move?  Intrigued? Hold that thought and read on.

I’m going to switch gears now. Many moons ago, I used to work for a big Canadian bank in a position that allowed me a unique vantage point to observe c-suite level leadership in that organization.

I remember clearly that in the height of the post-recession years of 2010 and 2011, this bank doubled down on customer service with renewed focus.

The CEO of this bank understood that any bank can provide a mortgage, but not every bank stays open till 8 PM on weekdays and not every bank promises that it will make banking comfortable.

Comfort and banking typically didn’t go hand in hand until TD Bank doubled down on its core strength – surprising and delighting customers with friendly staff, stores that stayed open late and a truly customer-centric mindset.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know how well TD Bank has performed over the last few years, largely based on its “secret sauce” of industry-leading customer service. However, today we won’t spend time extolling the virtues of TD.

Rather, my aim is to talk about the Canadian telecom giant I mentioned at the beginning of this article. This company is innovating in the customer service area and I believe this move speaks to the changing culture — a harbinger of very good things to come for shareholders.

Now sit back and relax while I tell you how a telecom company is connecting light bulbs to customer service to winning to shareholder value. And yes, I won’t keep you in suspense any longer: I’m talking about Rogers Communications (TSX:RCI.B).

Mobile store for Rogers’ products

Rogers recently announced that it was entering into a strategic partnership with Enjoy, a U.S. company founded by the former head of retail for Apple who was hired by Steve Jobs to transform his Apple Store concept into a reality.

Enjoy specializes in providing a top-notch personalized experience right in the customer’s home or office through superbly trained, kind people.

How this partnership will work practically speaking is that within hours of ordering their phone, Rogers customers can have a pro deliver their device, set it up, synch contacts, explain features,  review plan options, and offer accessories like cases, headsets and smart assistants.

For me, this is a very good step in the right direction for Rogers. First, this partnership shows that they really understand that their customer service has been a historic weakness. By partnering with a best-in-class U.S. company, it shows that Rogers has significant ambition on the customer service front.

Finally, Rogers has realized that to nail customer service properly, they need some fresh perspective that diversity of thought brings. All of this shows that Rogers is truly making customer service a big priority.

How do light bulbs fit in?

And oh, I haven’t forgotten about those light bulbs. It’s no surprise that Rogers wants to have customers with multiple products with the company, making them “stickier” and more profitable to the company.

So, when you think wireless plans, the company’s website allows you to easily navigate to home monitoring systems. From there, it’s a small leap to a wireless thermostat, and pretty soon, you’re looking at setting up app-controlled lights in your house through various Rogers bundles.

If Rogers can nail basic customer service, their multiple products strategy with each customer will naturally occur, the same way people typically have their checking, savings, RRSP and TFSA accounts with the same bank.

The final verdict

As I mentioned in my previous article on Rogers Communications, its stock price is trading hands at an extremely attractive level of under $64 right now. Investors would do very well to pay very close attention to Rogers over the next few months and start accumulating a position steadily.

Rogers has shown that it understands how to win customers long-term, which is an impressive victory for shareholders.

More reading

Fool contributor Rahim Bhayani owns shares of Toronto-Dominion Bank. Rogers Communications is a recommendation of Stock Advisor Canada.

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