Telecoms should get more ready to settle for Polygamous Customers!




From the west where the mobile revolution started, Telecoms had a way of retaining customers with contracts. This is still the case though fast changing. In Africa, Uganda in particular, we started with people referring to their phone as “My Celtel” at the time when Celtel was the only provider, but this was short lived when other players joined the market. 5-10 years ago a telecom could talk about retaining customers but the market is fast becoming very competitive without a single telecom being the best at all services including voice, data, video and mobile payments.  People are increasing using 3 or more telecom lines which they shift between based on which has a better daily, weekly or monthly packaged to suite the customer needs. The customers are becoming “Polygamous” where it best suits their needs!

There is now very little prospect of any individual telecom fully owning, rather than sharing, the customer and telecoms will increasingly keep losing customer ownership if they do not respond fast to customer’s changing mindset. Operators need to understand and respond to fast-changing customer expectations and behaviors if they are to fight off the competitive threat from other providers. This will require operators to communicate clearly the underlying value of the network and the sources of added value that differentiate their offerings in new service areas. Innovation in the service model could also be used to build brand loyalty in the same way technology players have done. Ernest & Young -Top 10 risks in telecommunications 2012!