Bills somehow have the knack of being nasty surprises. But what if the bill for your post-paid connection came with a colourful bunch of toffees, and a coupon to be redeemed for a packet of sweets at a popular store? For Hutch, its bills are "an instrument of surprise" that seek not only to be pleasant and exciting, but also offer the customer a "perceptible monetary benefit".
According to company source, bills for the post-paid connections also served as "alliance tools" in that they, along with a partner are offered an exclusive deal to the cellular service user, which went a long way in containing churn, the challenge for the cellular service industry. Innovation was important to retain customers, and have them expect something new each time. Bills in the past that have surprised Hutch users range from major offers such as price-offs on holidays at Taj hotels to personalised copies of newspapers being delivered to corporate honchos to coupons that could be redeemed at various stores and restaurants.
Hutch also hit upon a plan to gain more customers by offering various incentives to those already on a Hutch post-paid plan. In a Member-get-Member scheme, a Hutch user would get a credit of Rs 200 on the next bill if he got one connection, a travel/laptop bag worth Rs 2,000 for three connections, a costlier bag for five new users and an all-expenses paid 2 days/2 nights holiday inclusive of rooms, F&B and tax (exclusive of travel) if he raked in ten.
According to sources, this scheme had a success rate of eight per cent, far above the four per cent success norm for such direct marketing initiatives.