PTA has recently released the subscriber’s stats of mobile operators, which are somewhat similar to what we saw in recent months. Mobilink has lost its huge customer base with almost 1,575,587 subscribers in couple of months only and so far market dynamics predict that Mobilink will keep on loosing customer base in January as well.
Without wasting any time, as already much of time has been wasted, let me share some reasons that can provide valid justification for Mobilink subscribers decline and if these reasons are taken care of, Mobilink can re-gain its lost glory and previous position.
- Focused on only postpaid market segment
- Lack of Customer Retention & Loyalty Programmes
Yes, promos (print and TVCs) can bring anything on and off to stay in the mind of existing customers as well as to new prospects. We witnessed Mobilink lacking in bringing the innovation and creativity for their promotions when compared to its competitors in the country.
We also saw abundance of Mobilink’s network coverage ad, which gave us the hint that administration at Mobilink thinks that they have attained maximum numbers of possible customers, and now they want to brand their image instead of brand activation; this was for sure not a good idea, especially in absence of customer retention and loyalty programmes.
This week we saw that Mobilink has initiated new promo of Rs. 68 paisa /30 sec on all networks for jazz budget packages and it is better late than never. So the theme is to stay tuned for brand activation to level the churn – additionally if you want to bring in other campaigns, don’t forget the brand activation in parallel, until you are operating and offering new connections.
Focused on only postpaid market segment and Billing Systems:
Mobilink is no doubt the market leader in postpaid segment of Pakistani Telco market, but for granted postpaid revenue stream behavior by mobilink is also main reason for their decline in the subscribers.
Postpaid family was of course the best running customers, and highest paying base, but Mobilink missed and did not realize market dynamics and status quo was primary interest to them. Because in Pakistan, prepaid market flourished and very swiftly become benchmark for quoting high revenue streams from prepaid segment despite of its unpredictable sides like switching cost of the customer.
In Pakistan, postpaid market cannot flourish like we saw them in other countries until or unless problems like overheads, billing systems, bad debts and no proper live billing systems’ importance is not realized and to keep postpaid market flourish main element required to any postpaid customer is live billing “Notify as you use”, but unfortunately they couldn’t handle this aspect of postpaid market the way customer demanded.
Lack of Customer Retention & Loyalty Programmes:
I always discuss in my articles that customer retention and loyalty programmes happens to be the key to success in any segment of market. Although, in postpaid market, customer switching cost is low and chances of churn is also low but as soon as MNP come to its existence; customers don’t take a minute to choose any other service provider, when specially service providers are roaming in the market for corporate base acquisition with eagle’s eye.
At this stage, we have seen only few promos for customer retention & loyalty by Mobilink for their hugely claimed subscriber’s base (mostly for prepaid segment) and they kept going with market as for granted behavior.
MNP and Mobilink
In Pakistan, unfortunately MNP has affected Mobilink like any Tsunami and at once Mobilink started receiving huge applications for numbers movement to others network and hence resulted as huge loss of customers to Mobilink. Because Mobilink was pioneer in GSM services and Pakistani corporate sector was huge market of mobilink cause of its pioneering nature. But again, “Take it for granted” behavior provides huge loss to Mobilink as MNP was planned in mobile cellular policy and Mobilink could designed better initiatives to cater this aspect of market instead of taking it for granted.
We can also easily observe from above findings, that Mobilink seems confused for finding its niche in Pakistan or at once they realized it as postpaid and later on their focus was converted to prepaid market.
Recently I have gone through Mobilink performance for Q3 results and unfortunately they are not providing any good news. There are rumors in market that we will see major changes and acquisitions in future in Pakistani Telco market. Still I feel that Mobilink can play a major role if they revise their strategic plans and focus on their niche instead of getting confused. A total Brand revamping is not out of question idea.