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Customer Experience – a key MVNO Differentiator – To win in the competitive battlefield

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The number of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) are on the rise, as they make better business sense. But to stay ahead and remain competitive, MVNOs need to focus on creating a differentiated customer experience. Here’s the prime reason – Offering low cost innovative services that once made the MVNOs successful are no longer a differentiator due to disruptive innovations rolled out by competition regularly and thinning margins. According to a latest report published by GSMA Intelligence, there are now in total 1,017 MVNOs in the world which has out-numbered the total number of mobile networks in the world. In 2015 alone, almost 210 MVNOs have either shut down or have folded into another operator. This perhaps is the accepted business curve of start, peak, filtering and stabilization. But to reach the stabilization point and start delivering winning equation MVNOs need to be smart. Superior customer retention rate and ability to add new customers is now than ever before directly linked to ‘Experience’, which will help MVNOs stand out and receive higher ARPU. Many studies suggest operators differentiating themselves based on customer experience are likely to stay in business in the long run. According to Telesperience’s recent research into the MVNO market differentiator, better customer service has been cited by almost 67% of MVNOs. MVNO need to be proactive to customers’ needs which will help them reduce subscriber churn through low cost, simplicity, transparency and premium services. Below are a few innovative touch points with which MVNO can delight their customers:
  1. Introduce loyalty schemes for existing customers. E.g. IKEA, the Swedish home furniture retailer in the UK and the Future Group’s Talk24 in India. They have launched prepaid mobile service which is only offered to existing loyalty scheme members
  2. Offer the flexibility to the user to design their own plan e.g. Virgin Mobile Control App
  3. Provide full control to customers by empowering them with Selfcare Portals and Mobile App through which they can view their service usage, account balance, recharge and subscribe to services in real time e.g. e.g. Virgin Mobile Control App
  4. Partner offers e.g. FreedomPop offering Motorola Phones at discounted rates during Black Friday
  5. Localisation and personalisation with,
    1. Demography –  e.g. Boost Mobile & Verizon, targeting the youth market
    2. Customer segments – e.g. Mobeo, Beyond Mobile and Abica mainly focusing on enterprise market and corporate clients
    3. Ethnicity – Lebara Mobile, Lyca Mobile targeting ethnic communities by providing inexpensive calls to their home country
  6. Use queuing systems to set the right expectations about wait times, as customers do not like to wait to be served. Operators can also offer a service of Miss Call to Call Back which ensures customers need not wait in order to reach customer service. e.g. AT&T U-verse Voice Customer Service
  7. Offer flexibility and control to customers by selling products and services online to reduce traffic over customer care channels or retail outlets. e.g. Sprint Mobiles
  8. MVNO’s should embrace and leverage Social Media to provide timely response to customer queries, concerns or issues which are not directed to the call centre. Customer engagement through social media has proved to be an important marketing,  sales and customer service tool which helps build customer loyalty and reduce cost of operation  e.g. Verizon has created a separate tab on its facebook page for Customer Support
  9. Offer Triple Play Services on the same platform with unified Bill e.g. Movistar in Mexico and Tigo in Colombia
  10. Offer innovative shared data plans e.g. T-Mobile Family Plans
  11. Additionally, it is imperative for the operator to offer uniform MVNO customer experience across multiple customer touch points which include activation kit, customer contact centre, advertisements and promotions, offers, retail stores and branding & merchandising
This is where the role of Business Support System (BSS) plays a key role enabling MVNO’s to create different plans with configurable product catalogue, visibility of subscriber usage  and use that intelligence with analytics to create personalized offers & plans, push location based offers etc. Elitecore’s MVNO solution allows you to take absolute control of crucial areas such as billing and customer relationship, the solution lets them create new services, bundled promotions and responsive customer care with real time capabilities and speed, just like an MNO. To know more about Elitecore’s MVNO offering visit www.elitecore.com

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