Indian prepaid cellular loyalty programme is a hit
Indian mobile telephone company, Idea Cellular, runs a loyalty programme that rewards customers for recharging their SIM cards, increasing successive rewards in proportion to the time they have stayed with the company.
Idea Cellular says that its loyalty programme has become a runaway success among its prepaid customers. In just over six months since the launch of the Lifetime Idea programme, rewards of over 9.5 crore rupees (US$2.18 million) have already been awarded to more than 22 lakh loyal prepaid members (2.2 million) across eight operational areas. This accounts for around half of Idea's prepaid customer base.
Sliding scale The programme offers Bonus Talktime to its customers depending upon how long the customers stay on the IDEA network. The reward increases with customer lifetime: for a recharge of Rs324 (US$7.44) or more in the first three months, the customer earns extra talktime worth Rs20 (US$0.46); in the second three months, Rs30 (US$0.69); in the third three months, RS40 (US$0.92); and in the fourth three months, (US$1.15).
According to Vikram Mehmi, CEO of Idea Cellular, "From approximately Rs2.8 crores (US$643,000) in the first three months the reward has more than tripled to about 10 crores (US$2.3 million) in the following quarter, far exceeding our expectations of customer participation."
Post-paid too Idea also runs a loyalty programme for its post-paid customer base. The programme is uniform across all its eight areas of operation and is centrally administered. It is divided into three tiers: Gold, Silver and Royale. It offers a variety of benefits, ranging from priority access to its call centres, unique gifts and entertainment, and privilege offers in collaboration with major Indian consumer brands.
Idea Cellular's footprint currently covers approximately 45% of India's population and over 50% of the potential telecoms market.