Telstra turns a minus into a plus
When it comes to the major telecommunications players in Australia, none are much bigger than Telstra. But to stay on top, it must still stay one step ahead, and its competitors. To help Telstra achieve this goal, the phone company partnered with its technology partner Mastercard to elevate its Telstra Plus program, and for its efforts, it won gold for Best Loyalty Program – Telecommunications category at INTERACTIVE-MARKETING2021 Loyalty and Commitment Award.
In 2018, the Australian telecommunications industry was facing significant economic disruption due to network deployment and stiff competition from low-cost mobile operators. Telstra acknowledged that in response it had to disrupt itself significantly to differentiate itself and remain competitive in what was becoming a commodified market.
Telstra Plus was introduced as part of Telstra’s T22 strategy to dominate the Australian market by simplifying its operations and product mix, improving customer experience and rewards, and reducing its cost base. Telstra needed to recognize and reward her fiercely loyal customers, some of whom had been with her for over 40 years. He had a simple benefits package, however, it was not doing enough to benefit clients.
Instead, Telstra has built a simple yet sophisticated points-and-tier-based program that has real economic benefits for members to help them take advantage of the latest technology sooner and more cheaply, and take advantage of unique and attractive offers and benefits that thank members for being with her. In turn, the program provides more reasons to regularly engage with Telstra, stay longer, and ultimately generate income for the company.
Telecom operators are very different from other industries that have traditionally been big fans of points-based loyalty programs, such as retail and airlines, as a customer’s annual spend is often much lower. and the frequency of engagement is much lower, with customers often not thinking about their telecom provider for years.
Many telecommunications companies around the world have tried points-based loyalty programs in the past, but have often had to change their strategy because these programs have failed to gain momentum and encourage participation.
Telstra’s priorities were:
1. Sign Up: Aggressively grow the membership base to reach 3.5 million members;
2. Engage: encourage and integrate members’ frequent interactions with the program; and
3. Encourage new engagement behaviors and change preconceptions about what a customer’s telecom relationship looks like.
The start of Telstra Plus was an important strategic decision for Telstra. It was essential to have the strategy in place from the start to establish Telstra Plus as a program tailored to its customers, the telecommunications industry and the premium brand of Telstra.
He wanted the program to support Telstra’s goal of building a connected future so that everyone can thrive; Telstra Plus was therefore created to make it easier and cheaper for customers to take advantage of the technology.
Following the launch of the program’s foundations in fiscal 2020, there was a need to act quickly to establish the program with Telstra customers, and drive adoption of program benefits and transactions at scale to establish a strong future for the program. Telstra Plus program.
Considerations included limited media budgets that required him to be smart in his use of one-to-one and personalization in digital, and the creativity to stand out and illustrate the scale of the program.
When it came to Telstra Plus, there was a need to make registration easier and more convenient – bring the registration event to the customer and make the experience intuitive and seamless to join; communicate compelling reasons to join Telstra Plus – develop compelling value propositions that attracted people to the program and make them excited to join, and create advocacy within Telstra’s frontline teams (stores of retail, call centers and field technicians) – they are the human face of Telstra Plus and he wanted them to truly believe in the program and convey the same passion Telstra has for Telstra Plus in all of their conversations with customers.
The other important aspect was engagement. Telstra needed to maximize personalization through data insights – hyper-personalized recommendations to members on products / offers / rewards they were genuinely interested in and wanted to know more about.
He also wanted to make the rewards more accessible to all members, ensuring that there is a wide range of attractive rewards for all spending levels and different tech interests.
It was also necessary to create enthusiasm and establish emotional relationships on a large scale through these stages:
1. transcend purely transactional interactions and develop adherent relationships based on memories and positive experiences;
2. Create a sense of exclusivity and inclusion – making all members feel a part of something special, and even more so for members of the Gold and Silver status levels; and
3. Integrate Telstra Plus into all physical Telstra touchpoints – integrate Telstra Plus into all customer interactions to create a permanent presence.
The telephone company has made registration easier and more convenient by showcasing the Telstra Plus registration option in all relevant customer experiences to minimize the registration effort. According to the phone company, it was as easy as checking a box. These journeys included the payment flow of Telstra’s online stores, the digital ID registration of Telstra customers, and the onboarding experience for its My Telstra app.
He also communicated time triggers / events to clients at convenient times to encourage them to join the program. For example, when they become Telstra customers for the first time, before the due date of the invoice and during a prepaid credit recharge event.
The telecom operator has also launched a series of campaigns designed to provide openness and get customers to join now. For example, it made Telstra Plus membership “an easy business decision” with an offer of 5,000 bonus points to all businesses that signed up during the campaign and the chance to win one of the 10 “packs. The Rewards Store’s technology-filled mobile work stations help its small businesses operate on the go.
Telstra has created advocacy within its frontline teams by engaging its frontline teams to educate clients on the Telstra Plus value proposition. This made them feel excited about the program and encouraged them to sign up any clients they spoke to. This included the membership of its technicians, who typically don’t conduct conversations for business results, and gave them the tools to sign up members on the spot.
When it came to optimizing personalization through data insights, Telstra integrated its CRM best practice program into the Telstra Plus and Telstra business lifecycles to capture relevant trigger moments for the business. commitment.
The phone company has also rolled out hyper-personalized bimonthly “member update” emails where members only see offers that are relevant to them based on their location, interests and level. Additionally, additional redemption communications were sent every two months, and during cultural shopping moments, to recommend products for redemption in the rewards store based on point balance and known attributes.
Additionally, the phone company has also expanded the Telstra Plus rewards store’s lineup to over 500 tech items and accessories, so there really is something for everyone. It has also introduced flexible payment methods in the rewards store, including ‘points only,’ points + payout ‘or’ points + refund ‘allowing members to pay part using points and spread the rest over 12 or more. 24 months (a first Australian for a loyalty program).
It also showcased its first external partners (non Telstra), Huddle (insurance) and Booking.com so members could earn more points to redeem faster – this was just the start with a range of new partnerships to l immediate horizon.
To complement its ongoing business and keep the program front and center, Telstra has activated mass campaigns to excite members – overturning traditional promotions and instead offering all members a guaranteed instant giveaway with “Open Up Fun”. It also brought live music to its members when concerts weren’t possible through exclusive concerts broadcast live – 20 lucky members were even able to meet the artists virtually.
Telstra has also given members “that rewarding feeling” more often by launching new perks for its Gold and Silver members. Took a customer-centric design approach to craft the proposition and member experience through VIP service, home entertainment benefits, and priority access to select concert presales.
At the same time, the phone company has aggressively increased in-store redemption volumes by educating team members on the value of points and what members can get with them, and how to position the exchange of points in the sales conversation. It rewarded stores with the highest level of membership redeeming in-store points for technology with 15 giant Christmas cookies filled with prizes to be won in the five weeks leading up to Christmas.
Consistent enrollment momentum has been achieved since the program launched in 2019, where Telstra surpassed its initial goal of four months in six weeks.
Telstra also added 1.5 million new members in FY21, reaching the target of 150,000 SME members in Q4 by the middle of the third quarter; Telstra Plus currently has 3.5 million or more members (of which 910,000 have been signed up by its frontline employees); and after two years, it has listed approximately 50% of Telstra’s addressable base and continues its goal of enlisting five million by the end of fiscal 22.
Meanwhile, the focus on engagement during FY21 has yielded astounding results and has led to ongoing behavior changes, with 60% of members actively engaging in the program – activating tier benefits, participating in promotions, accepting bonus point offers or redeeming for rewards.
In summary, Telstra Plus is a key factor for customer loyalty. The unsubscribe rate is significantly higher for unregistered customers than for registered members – non-members being 64% more likely to be unsubscribed than members. There is also a double-digit gap in the NPS for members versus non-members.
Photo courtesy: 123RF