Customer retention and satisfaction the key
Vodafone Greece achieved its original five year business case within the first 11 months of its femtocell product launch, according to Polychronos Tzeferos, New Products and Innovation Manager, Vodafone Greece.
Tzeferos, speaking at the Femtocells World Summit in London, added that Voda Greece is seeing an average of 350 to 400 voice minutes per month per a four user femtocell. This isn’t driving a great deal of increased revenue, as most voice usage is falling within bundles, he added. However, it is in customer retention and satisfaction that Vodafone Greece seems to be seeing the best results.
Tzeferos said that a customer survey showed that once users had a femtocell, their reported propensity to churn reduced from 65% to 8%. 99% of users said they would recommend the femtocell to a friend.
The numbers appear to show that, where coverage for voice services is poor, the femtocell is still a great tool for customer retention.
Tzeferos admitted that the operator had struggled with the consumer messaging around femtocells; advertising it as a coverage solution means tacitly admitting Vodafone’s coverage is poor in some areas or situations. Vodafone had therefore gone for a brand campaign, rather than a product-led one, and some customers were asking for the advertised improved coverage without realising they were being sold a product, he said.
The operator, which is using a Huawei Ubro2.0 femto for its product, cannot effect 3G handover between the femtocell and the macro network, because the Huawei femto is not compatible with Voda’s Ericsson core. Tzeferos said that this had had little impact on customers to date, as it would only impact those customers who wish a data session to continue between the femtocell and the macro network.
Tzeferos said he would like to see the value proposition for femtocells improve so that “each and every customer can have one”. At the moment Vodafone Greece offers the femtocell at a maximum price of €99, with the femto available at various price points down to free, depending on the customers’ data plan.