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U.S. Cellular enhances mobile loyalty efforts

U.S. Cellular is partnering with 2ergo for mobile marketing consulting, project management and creative services for SMS and MMS programs, mobile Web sites and mobile coupons.

The partnership will enable U.S. Cellular to create personalized, interactive and measurable mobile programs designed to make a big impact on brand loyalty.

?In the coming months, we plan to enhance our mobile marketing efforts by offering consumers the opportunity to communicate with U.S. Cellular more efficiently and effectively to ensure they are getting the best wireless experience possible,? said Jennifer Dakin, senior manager, direct marketing for U.S. Cellular.

U.S. Cellular, Chicago, will be integrating the new messaging into its existing loyalty program as well as its existing Be Happy marketing campaign.

Customer loyalty is a growing focus for mobile carriers as they attempt to deal with the traditionally high turnover rates for customers when their contracts expire.

Churn rate improves
The U.S. Cellular loyalty program was introduced last year to encourage customers to stay with the mobile carrier. The program allows customers to accumulate bonus points that can be used to buy accessories, ringtones, caps on overages and discounts on new phones.

U.S. Cellular recently reported an improvement in its churn rate for customers in its first quarter financial results.

The company said the churn rate improved to 1.37 percent from 1.41 percent. U.S. Cellular had a net loss of 31,000 retail customers during the quarter. The total reflects 22,000 postpaid customers and 9,000 who dropped the carrier.

The company?s service revenues increased 2.1 percent for a total of $985.1 million during the quarter.

U.S. Cellular is the sixth-largest wireless service provider.

The partnership with 2ergo will enhance U.S. Cellular?s existing communications with customers and potential customers by bringing a new suite of products and services.

Mobile business and marketing solutions company 2ergo, Manchester, England, will assist with direct marketing to U.S. Cellular?s 6.1 million customers as well as support the events and sponsorships marketing team to develop, execute and analyze results-oriented mobile campaigns. The work will leverage 2ergo?s messaging, mobile Web site and mobile voucher platforms.

The program will include using text messaging, pictures, video and mobile Web sites to communicate with customers. The company will also be able to obtain feedback from customers to ensure that it is meeting their needs.

The first examples of the new communications will hit the market in the third quarter of this year.

?At U.S. Cellular, we have the happiest customers in wireless, and we are committed to elevating their experience with innovation,? Ms. Dakin said.

Final Take