High Risk for Operators that Fail to Offer Personalized Services

A recent survey from Evolving Systems, Inc. reveals that if wireless operators fail to offer number choice and other personalized services, they risk a significant proportion of their
prepaid subscribers defecting to their competitors. The survey, carried out in spring 2010, polled the views and opinions of 500 prepaid mobile phone subscribers across the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.

According to the research, at least 35% of respondents in every country, and significantly more in France and Germany (44% in both), would consider switching to another service provider if it was able to offer them the ability to select a number and their current provider was not. The main reason respondents gave for wanting to choose a number was to make it easier to remember and 32% or more of respondents in each country said they would be prepared to pay in order to choose a number.

The survey also found that at least half of respondents in all of these countries, rising to 62% in Italy and Spain and 55% in France, would consider switching to another provider if it was able to offer a range of personalized services and their current provider was not. The survey asked respondents about their interest in, and concerns about, a range of personalized services including loyalty schemes and innovative two-sided business models, such as sponsored and advertising-supported services.

“Leading operators in the surveyed countries already have blended churn rates of well over 30% a year, a number that could get worse if they fail to offer their customers number choice and other personalized services and a competitor does,” says Stuart Cochran, Chief Technology Officer at Evolving Systems. “The challenge for operators is how they engage effectively with subscribers in order to drive up loyalty levels.”

“Historically, this has been difficult. Typically, operators have had little, if any, information about a large proportion of their customer base, prepaid users,” adds Cochran. “As as result, operators are forced to look at usage trends and patterns of behavior to infer, sometimes inaccurately, the type of customer they are dealing with.”

Fortunately, with a new approach to provisioning mobile services and devices, delivered by the Dynamic SIM Allocation (DSA) solution from Evolving Systems, operators can overcome this challenge. By allowing customers to personalize their services when they use a mobile device for the first time, to pick their number or choose the right tariff, operators can create a new dialogue with prepaid users.

“Critically, the dialogue presents an ideal opportunity to build a better understanding of customers,” adds Cochran. “The same device-based dialogue that supports number choice can also be used to sign-up new customers to reward or loyalty programs, or to offer new value-added services. Through this, operators can strengthen the customer relationship,
build loyalty and reduce the potential for churn revealed by our survey results.”

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