04:27 pm - Thursday 24 April 2014

Loyalty programmes: Strategic move of telcos to retain post-paid users

By insightVAS - Tue Jan 29, 5:38 pm

In the beginning of this month, Airtel, country’s leading telecom service provider has tied up with the premium designer label brand Satya Paul to surprise post-paid subscribers with a gift voucher of Rs 5,000 .

Marketing experts see this as a strategic move to retain post-paid subscribers against the backdrop of high churn due to mobile number portability (MNP) . “It’s a smart and timely move as customer retention gets tougher in the highly competitive Indian Market,” says Abhishek Chauhan, Senior Consultant, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan.

Chauhan added, this will attract subscribers to shift from prepaid to postpaid segment as the telecom companies are also focusing on high net worth post-paid consumers.

Airtel, which has had a run of 12 consecutive quarter losses, has been bearing the brunt of MNP churn, with subscribers leaving in droves.

While over 95 percent of the pre-paid market is low margin, the post-paid segment has high ARPUs (average revenue per user) and is the way forward for telecom players, say experts.

Airtel, apart from the Satya Paul tie-up, also offered select post-paid consumers passes for the recently-concluded India-England cricket series.

As a brand we value the patronage of our customers and this is just one of our many ways to acknowledge the same,” says Abhilasha Hans, Chief Service Officer, Consumer Business, Bharti Airtel.

It is not only Airtel but Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications also have been focusing on loyalty programmes to retain high net-worth users.

Vodafone, for its post-paid users, has an ‘Earn and Burn‘ programme that is open to premium cardholders of Stanchart and HSBC; the scheme helped the operator add over 1.3 lakh new users last year. It has also been running the ‘My Delights’ scheme that offers best deals and discounts on restaurants, health & beauty and travel.

Reliance Communications, planning to hike tariff for post-paid users and is also betting big on loyalty schemes to retain users. RCom has a specific call center which offers personalised services to high net-worth post-paid users and also dedicated relationship managers for retail and corporate customers with high ARPUs.

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