Monetizing analytics and data? That’s the ultimate for any company, but for data-rich telcos it’s within reach with an innovative data strategy and the right architecture. Saudi Telecom Company (STC) has both. They are not only serving their customers, but they are also creating new business models and finding new revenue streams while creating that all important customer loyalty.
“Our role, basically, is to take the customer from on-boarding until the churning phase. We use the data, we apply the advanced analytics, and use cutting edge technologies of big data to provide insights to run campaigns, increase the value of the customers, and make STC succeed within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” – Ahmad Hussain, Director of Customer Value Management
Shifting strategy to operate as a data-driven business, STC moved from a product-centric approach to a customer-centric approach with the ultimate goal of exceeding customer expectations through service rather than pushing products that didn’t meet the customer’s needs. In order to achieve this business outcome, STC needed a better understanding of their customers.
“We have a little over 400 variables that we use to collect data about the customers. Then we use machine learning to cluster these customers into different segments. Presently, we have segmented our base into eight major segments and we have different ways of looking at them. One of our segments is fully engaged with all of our services. They’re using all the services that STC is providing. Very significant ARPU revenue that is coming from these customers versus a customer who is very focused on data. We cluster the data-savvy type of customers a separate way; the traditional customers in a separate way. So, depending on the behaviors or the usage pattern of the customers, we are clustering them and we’re trying to build our products according to their needs and behavior.” – Ahmad Hussain, Director of Customer Value Management
Using Teradata Aster pathing analysis, STC can better visualize the customer journey and knows when to act to move their customers from one segment to another. STC also uses Teradata Aster to monitor site outages which contribute to customer experience. These analytics enable STC to proactively approach customers about an outage or other complaints more quickly to prevent churn.
The Loyalty Program
By now you may be asking yourself, “But, how are they monetizing analytics and data?” Here is your answer. A robust and innovative loyalty program that employs B2B partnerships to enhance the customer experience. STC identifies the segments with the 400 variables then promotes those customers to businesses to market their products through the loyalty program.
“It ranges from McDonald’s to the Dubai government. We push their tourism initiatives. Typically, we are having two or three partnership managers traveling around in spots where we know Saudi people are going … and where they like to go – typically to Bahrain, UAE, and even Europe. And they’ll build around some promotion, an entire end-to-end customer experience for the customer. I mean, including the flight, including limousine service, including hotels, including events, attractions and so on and so forth. So, what we try to do is to control every single step of the customer experience and design it as smooth as possible.” – Luca Decarli, General Manager, Customer Lifecycle
To date, STC has more than 60 partnerships in multiple markets with a vision to grow even more.
What about privacy concerns? Not a problem. STC created their loyalty program with privacy and data protection as their top priority.
“Our country has similar rules as Europe. First of all, we ask our customers if we can access some of their information. Obviously, we are not selling this information to outside partners. While we are profiling the customer and trying to understand his needs, only two or three people within the company are really accessing the full picture and have the entire 360-degree view of those customers. After one-and-a-half years, we have not had one single request or complaint. This means that we are respecting privacy. In addition, it’s an opt-in program and we do not compromise with this.” – Luca Decarli, General Manager, Customer Lifecycle
To say it has been successful is an understatement. Since launching in 2014 STC has achieved an outstanding and stable incremental gain of approximately 1 million SAR per day ($266,000 USD) with 1:1 marketing programs and has increased market share by 3% to become the leader in the Saudi market. STC’s prepaid base has increased by more than 1 million and churn has decreased more than 2%.
Congratulations to STC on an incredible loyalty program that monetizes data and increases customer loyalty all at the same time!