Customer engagement and retention is vital for telcos to prosper, but is also a major challenge given high levels of competition and the often fickle nature of mobile users.
“Data is the new oil” has become a popular phrase in recent years, and while there is some dispute over who first coined the expression, there is far less disagreement about the veracity of the statement. Indeed, the value of data is widely recognised across most industries. When correctly applied, data analytics can help companies to better serve their customers, fostering loyalty and helping to generate more business.
The situation is especially familiar to telecom operators, which have collectively recognised the value of customer data for longer than many companies in many other industries. This is partly down to the fact that operators own the networks and the relationship with their customers, and therefore already have access to a certain amount of data. But given the fierce competition in the telecoms industry and the complex nature of gathering, analysing and using data, it is critical for telecom operators to work with partners to achieve success in this area.
One company that is more than proving its worth is Dubai-headquartered incentives and data analytics specialist, the ENTERTAINER, which is best known to residents in the GCC region for its popular consumer ‘two-for-one’ offers. After transforming itself during the past five years into an e-business that can help other companies better understand and serve their customers, the ENTERTAINER is fast becoming the go-to partner for telecom operators in the region and beyond.
The ENTERTAINER, which already counts UAE telco du and Bahraini operator Batelco among its telecom clients, is able to help operators offer their customers an array of special offers such as ‘Buy One Get One Free’ for various products and services, while also increasing uptake of important telecom services such as roaming. At the same time, the ENTERTAINER can also assist its telecom operator clients and partners with data analytics, helping them to better understand their customers’ behaviour and requirements, as well as gathering previously untapped data points. Moreover, the ENTERTAINER is also able to provide telcos with the flexibility of offering their customers the ‘the ENTERTAINER’ co-branded app or a tailored white-label product.
Peter Hubbard, head of the ENTERTAINER Business, explains: “Through the ENTERTAINER business’s mobile app solutions, telecom operators have the ability to incentivise certain behaviours and actions throughout the customer lifecycle - from acquisition stage, to retention and upgrades.
“Beyond the thousands of rewards available through the solutions, the platforms also allow operators to accumulate data on their customers, from location-specific data to their redemption behaviour. This information can be used by telecom operators to create and improve on their marketing strategies, increase customer retention, and enhance their customer offering.”
Hubbard adds that by showing customers the immediate value and ongoing savings in real time, operators can give their subscribers more reasons to join their network and stay loyal to the brand. The ENTERTAINER platform can also be leveraged by telcos to design tactical retention campaigns.
In terms of prepaid consumers, which account for a major proportion of operators’ mobile revenues, telcos can introduce validity-linked offers through the ENTERTAINER platform to increase top-up frequencies. Additionally, they can also offer customised value added services to a particular consumer segment to improve ARPU values. Similar offers can also be designed for upselling to post-paid consumers.
Tried and tested
The ENTERTAINER’s partnerships with du and Batelco offer pertinent case studies: Batelco and the ENTERTAINER launched a co-branded mobile app in July, giving Batelco’s customers easy access to a wide range of ‘Buy One Get OneFree’ offers from merchants across Bahrain and travel vouchers for hotels around the globe. As part of the agreement, Batelco’s Al Dana members and loyal high usage customers are eligible for the range of special offers and discounts available in the Batelco ENTERTAINER. Customers receive direct communications with details of the special offers and how to use those offers.
Dubai-based du has had a long-standing partnership with the ENTERTAINER. The first du ENTERTAINER App was launched in 2014 and was positioned as a value-added incentive for the acquisition of new du customers. “Due to the success of the programme, du went on to further increase its investment with the ENTERTAINER by requesting different solutions to meet their different business goals,” Hubbard says.
This led to the debut earlier this year of a new in-destination app, du ENTERTAINER go. The app comes with every tourist sim purchased in the UAE and offers impressive discounts on attractions, trip planning features, all on an intuitive interface. Fahad Al Hassawi, chief commercial officer, du, explains: “We wanted to focus on providing exclusive benefits and added value to tourists through our Tourist SIM. Now visitors can engage and enjoy many of the sights and sounds of the UAE and really get to know our wonderful country.”
Right to roam
One particularly important area where the ENTERTAINER can help operators to drive demand for services is roaming. Many mobile users in the region remain sceptical of using roaming services when traveling, partly owing to concerns about so called bill-shock. Hubbard suggests that operators can encourage uptake of roaming with bundled offers. For example, if customers are offered roaming packages that also include 2-for-1 deals on hotel bookings, meals, and discounted tourist experiences, they are far more likely to accept.
For a platform that offers such advantages, the ENTERTAINER app in its various forms is also remarkably easy to deploy. Indeed, Hubbard says that the process is simple for operators.“The ENTERTAINER team takes care of everything from the design to the build and the operation,” he says. “Depending on the client’s needs, ENTERTAINER can go as far as offering marketing resources to customer services,” he adds.
The ENTERTAINER Business solutions are packaged in three different app platforms. These include the ever-popular 2-for-1 incentive based ENTERTAINER app and more recently, two new travel editions, ENTERTAINER guest (a mobile concierge for hotel guests) and ENTERTAINER go (a travel companion). These platforms can be used as a marketplace for a business’s assets, in conjunction with the ENTERTAINER offers or solely on their own. Each platform is customisable and can be presented as a white label app, co-branded, or as an off-the-shelf solution, or simply integrated into an existing app.
For more info on the ENTERTAINER’s B2B services, contact firstname.lastname@example.org