Who doesn’t want to feel appreciated? That is the philosophy that drives customer loyalty programmes. There are many definitions of customer loyalty. Yet most of them fail to realise that loyalty runs hand-in-hand with emotions and value generation. Given the highly commoditised competitive landscape today, customer loyalty programmes are the most effective way to differentiate an organisation from its competition and retain its customers.
Etisalat Nigeria is taking loyalty rewards a step further by merging quality service with value in its new GEM offer designed to reward its high value customers. The company that just celebrated five years of service with Nigerians has elected to make the intimacy warmer by this special programme that would increase value to her customers in the Nigerian market.
Matthew Willsher is acting chief executive officer at Etisalat Nigeria and explains his company’s objectives: “We called it GEM (going the extra mile). We had gone through a lot of names before arriving at GEM. Gem is like a stone, a ruby or sapphire or diamond. Gem resonates with us because of the idea of Going the Extra Mile which symbolises what we stand for at Etisalat.”
The proposition is based on telecompanys’ conviction that customers deserve more for their loyalty to the network.
Willsher says: “It is also important to internally continue to reinforce how we should be thinking about our customers. Our commitment to customers is to deliver extraordinary services that meet their needs uniquely. The idea of going the extra mile also resonates with the team internally, because we do not just treat them as a number; they are individuals with peculiar needs.”
Etisalat has built a culture that is focused on customers from the start, so the company is really enjoying the results of the tremendous relationship it has built with its customers.
“Our success really started out in the youth market segment. The youth market was the fastest-growing market at the time and the most underdeveloped as well, so the team made the right choice in targeting the youth market. It is now a huge part of the heritage. Now, we have grown to 16 million, so we have to look at where we can extend our reach. I think in the business market, corporate and small and medium businesses, we have a real opportunity.
“The GEM programme symbolises a move to not just be strong with youths but also be stronger with customers who spend more on our network. With the GEM offer Etisalat believes it can give its customers an exceptional experience on its network.
“Of course, great data service, great network and great customer service are some of the reasons that make Etisalat standout in the market. So, going forward, we will keep reinforcing our position as an operator that gives great value to customers,” he said.
At the launch of Etisalat GEM recently, Oluwole Rawa, director, consumer segment at Etisalat Nigeria, explains that “the loyalty program is designed to show appreciation to high value customers for their loyalty to Etisalat.” On the mechanics of Etisalat GEM, Rawa explained that “Etisalat customers who spend between N10,000 to N30,000 monthly will get Etisalat dongle with 500MB data monthly for six months and free 10 minutes calls plus 50 SMSs to all Etisalat lines on their birthdays.
It does not end there, high value customers who use between N30,000 to N50,000 will enjoy free MiFi with 500MB data monthly for 12 months, free VIP (box) ticket to watch Barcelona live match at the Camp Nou, in Barcelona, special invites to Etisalat exclusive events, free calls and texts on their birthday and high value identity card which they can use to gain express service at any Etisalat Experience Centre nationwide, among others.
For customers who spend between N50,000 and above, they will get free top range devices that befit their status, $1,000 shopping voucher, free VIP (box) tickets to watch FC Barcelona live matches at the Camp Nou, special invites to Etisalat exclusive events, free calls and SMSs on their birthdays, and an Etisalat High Value Identity card. In addition, customers in this category will also get free medical check-up abroad.
Customers with a minimum balance of N5,000 while roaming will receive calls for free in select destinations around the world when they choose specific Etisalat roaming partners: UK – Vodafone, USA – T-Mobile, UAE – Etisalat, South Africa – Vodacom, Saudi Arabia – Mobily and Netherland – KPN.
Stakeholders at the launch expressed delight over the GEM offering because it is coming from a network they trust to honour its word; a network that holds customers in high esteem.
Sule Odunsi, a systems engineer with a consultancy in the Lekki area of Lagos, welcomes the GEM programme. In his words: “I was just graduating when Etisalat came into the market and I took advantage of their 0809UCHOOSE offer to pick my signature number.”