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Customer Retention in the Telecoms Industry – How to Win and Keep Your Customers

March 9, 2022

Within the telecommunications industry, telcos face a constant battle against churn. It can be difficult to do this, as the industry is heavily saturated and competitive, with new entrants emerging regularly offering their unique products, plans and packaging.

The nature of the telco industry has evolved as well. Offering extensive mobile and broadband services is no longer enough to remain competitive. International fintech giants are drawing customers in the telco industry to their services like moths to a lamp. 

With ARPU and churn becoming increasing concerns for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), the two key questions on all telcos’ minds are: How can they increase their ARPU while reducing churn? In other words, how can they win - and keep - customers for the long term?

Why is Churn a Challenge in the Telecoms Industry? 

As mentioned above, the severity of competition, coupled with the rapid pace of technological change, has put pressure on telcos who are feeling the resulting sting in their monthly churn.

The telecommunications space is saturated with MNOs competing for primary market share. As more consumers connect to more devices, the space becomes riper for new businesses, especially with the growing demand for remote, digital services increasing

On top of this, fintech businesses have emerged as additional competitors in the mobile communications market, winning customers over with easy, accessible mobile services that are aligned to current consumer demand.

As data and wireless connectivity continue to drive how we communicate, the demand for voice calls has steadily decreased over time. MNOs who still rely primarily on voice call purchases are at risk of falling behind telcos who have managed to evolve with the times. 

Lack of universal access to handsets is another challenge holding MNOs back from expanding. Customers who do have smartphones are looking for digital services that can be conducted from their mobile devices, while other customers still operate on outdated 2G devices, limiting their ARPU potential. 

How MNOs Can Increase Customer Retention

If MNOs want to survive, they need to rapidly overhaul their existing service offerings and tap into new streams of revenue. There are 3 key ways that they can do this that will help them to lock in customer loyalty and longevity:

Offer advanced airtime and data lending

Customers are looking for instant, uninterrupted access to airtime and data access. Customers who can’t access airtime and data when they need it due to a limit of funds are more likely to seek uninterrupted access elsewhere from a competitor. 

By offering airtime advanced data and airtime lending, MNOs can keep their customers connected 24/7. Not only does this improve the customer experience, but it also encourages customer loyalty and increases purchasing. 

Offer mobile money services

In addition to data and airtime lending, MNOs should also look to offer broader mobile financial services, like mobile wallets and mobile money lending. By initiating smaller loans through data and airtime, MNOs can leverage the data they’ve accumulated to offer levelled mobile money loans and handset financing. 

Furthering access to mobile credit for customers will boost customer purchasing power while diversifying MNOs’ services and increasing revenue.

Offer financial identity as a service

Using the data collected from online customer behaviour and purchases, MNOs can effectively build comprehensive credit profiles for their customers. Providing financial identity as a service to your customers can help to build or boost customers’ credit records, which will ultimately expand their reach to larger lines of credit. 

This will ultimately increase customer retention and help to bridge the gap between underbanked customers and access to financial services.

Harness AI and automation for tailored services and marketing

A personalised customer experience is essential for customer retention. By harnessing customer data, MNOs can obtain a high-level view of customers’ online behaviour and spending. 

MNOs can use these insights to tailor and customise product and service offerings sent to customers, which will increase click-through and conversion rates and nurture customer journeys.

Conclusion

MNOs looking to retain customers through service expansion may naturally feel hesitant about taking on the risk of offering mobile credit and loans to customers. 

Airvantage is one of the largest service providers to MNOs across Africa. We specialise in:

  • Advanced airtime and data lending
  • Mobile wallets and mobile money lending
  • Agent lending and handset finance
  • Financial identity as a service

We take on the risk so you can receive all the benefits. 

If you’re ready to find out how Airvantage can increase customer retention and reduce churn with no risk to you, book a consultation with us.

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