U.S. Cellular’s Belief Project — Making Us Believers in Mobile Loyalty
When it comes to loyalty programs, it seems like a no-brainer that a mobile provider would want to reward its loyal customers. Because these days, it’s basically a given that everyone has a cell phone. And in the U.S., going the pay-as-you-go route is a rarity. We have family plans, two-year contracts, and obligations to stick around if we want to upgrade to the coolest new smartphone — at least, if we want to avoid massive contract-breaking fees.
So it’s hard to believe that U.S. Cellular’s Belief Project, a rewards program that actually benefits its loyal customers, is just two years old. And beyond that, the Belief Project really was the first of its kind.
The Belief Project’s components still feel fresh. Customers are required to sign one two-year contract — once. After that, they are free to switch to paying by the month, allowing them to terminate their contract should something change.
What’s more, switching to the month-by-month option doesn’t prevent members from accessing the rewards that U.S. Cellular has to offer. Actually, just by opting in to the Belief Project, you automatically earn points. The longer you are a member, the more points you earn; you’re even gifted points for your birthday.
And these points are actual valuable entities, something any customer stuck in a frustrating mobile plan can appreciate. You can use your Belief-earned points to add a line to your plan for free; to buy fun ringtones and ringback radio subscriptions; to set up a voicemail-to-text service.
Most significantly, however, you can apply points towards overage forgiveness, and to upgrade to a new phone whenever you’d like. Gone is the frustration of being stuck with your old-school Blackberry, or even a (gasp) flip phone for an extended period of time because you’re forced to wait out your two-year contract. And, your phone upgrade doesn’t necessitate a new contract.
It’s refreshing that U.S. Cellular has made serious efforts to earn its customer’s loyalty over these past two years — rather than forcing them to remain with them by making contracts a necessity. For an industry such as mobile, this kind of consideration and appreciation for loyalty is all the more stand-out — if everyone has a cell phone, many people will end up suckered in to a plan that is not beneficial to, or conscientious of, their needs.
At least, customers not with U.S. Cellular. Their Belief Project has made believers out of us, and has set the standard for loyalty in the mobile space.
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