According to a report by Juniper Research, 75% of wireless subscribers travelling outside of their network, better known as roamers, do not use data services, representing a huge market opportunity for operators to capture. Most roamers turn off data completely or substantially reduce usage because they do not feel in control of charges they may incur with today’s metered tariffs and do not want to experience bill shock. – I call them dormant roamers –There is an opportunity for operators to convert these dormant roamers into active data roaming users and generate more revenue. The question is how?
Cost Control and Real-Time Visibility: The Key to Activating Dormant Roamers
Knowing that the main barrier to data roaming usage is fear of bill shock, the solution is to provide subscribers with the cost control and transparency that they crave through simple, clear and reasonable pricing, real-time alerts, dashboards and spending limits. By offering customers complete peace of mind, operators will actually stimulate spending. When people can trust that they will not incur unexpected charges, they feel more comfortable spending. From the recent 2013 Informa Industry Survey (1931 respondents, 600 operators), it appears that the vast majority of the industry (almost 80% of respondents) clearly acknowledge that this is the key to activating dormant roamers and generate more data roaming revenues. The Western Europe example is also a testament to this.
The Western Europe Example:
A Testament In the past few years, a number of regulatory measures have been introduced in Western Europe to prevent roaming bill shock. These include capped charges, spending limits and usage alerts. Following these measures, Western Europe has actually seen its roaming revenue increase; it represents today almost half of the global roaming revenue with only 25% of global roamers. This means that travellers from Western Europe spend two to three times more on roaming services than any other region in the world.
A survey by the European Commission also showed that further to these anti-bill shock measures, travellers overall started to use roaming services to a greater extent – over 30% more – and a higher proportion of frequent travellers were using roaming services.
However, many roamers, still unaware of the reduced roaming charges and anti-bill shock controls in place, continued to switch off their phones or limit their usage while roaming. This shows how important it is to effectively engage with customers and interact with them in a timely manner to keep them up to date… and also take the opportunity to upsell.
In Part 2 of the series, we will address how to maximize data roaming revenues by:
- Providing cost control and real-time usage visibility to roamers;
- Engaging with roamers to upsell packages; and,
- Make purchasing very easy anytime, anywhere.