Making customer experience a priority in Malaysia
DiGi’s successful mobile Internet business has proven that being a late entrant is not necessarily bad, as long as the operator can live up to market expectations and offer the best customer experience.
Entering the market at the right time
DiGi entered the 3G competition in 2009, three years behind its main competitors Celcom and Maxis. Although being the late entrant was a challenge, it also gave DiGi a good lead time to ensure that the whole value chain was well prepared and ready to rock the market when it kicked off its services. In addition, it allowed DiGi to skip the trial-and-error phase that other operators had to undergo, making its go-to-market process shorter and more cost efficient.
“We believe that we entered the market at the right time when the demand for mobile Internet was on the rise, supported by a strong push from the government to achieve 50 percent broadband penetration by the end of 2010,” said Albern Murty, DiGi’s Head of Marketing.
Customer experience is the key
Entering the market as the third player, DiGi was expected to be different. Since its competitors had already taken the technology-focused position, DiGi decided to focus its communication message on ‘experience’ rather than the ‘technology’ itself.
DiGi also recognised the importance of managing customer expectations by not overpromising and under-delivering. Instead of promising the unachievable theoretical speeds that other operators claimed, DiGi promised the ‘Likely Average Speed’ with peace-of-mind pricing.
This position contributed to the steady increase of DiGi’s mobile Internet and mobile broadband subscriber base, as it reassures customers that they can surf at ease, knowing they will not be overcharged.
Kicking 3G off on the big screens
DiGi kicked off its 3G services on large screens (PCs and laptops) first in order to address rising demand for mobile broadband in the market. By focusing on the large screen in the initial phase, it enabled DiGi to manage its data network better. The strategy paid off with good market response.
“We have gotten good reviews on our broadband service particularly on our ‘better speeds for less’ proposition,” said Murty. The company later launched mobile internet on small screens to make Internet accessible to more people.
DiGi’s 3G network currently covers 35 percent of the population and the company aims to reach 50 percent population coverage by this year’s end.
In Q1 2010, DiGi had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with one of its competitors, Celcom, to explore long-term network and infrastructure collaboration in the areas of operations and maintenance, transmission and site sharing, and radio access network. The working groups are due to share their findings by year-end on the implementation roadmap.
Through clear differentiation and customer-focused approach, DiGi has gained customer confidence, which is reflected in the uptake of its Internet and broadband services. At end of Q2 2010, data services including mobile Internet and mobile broadband contributed to over 20 percent of DiGi’s overall revenue.
“We see a healthy adoption trend among Malaysians in mobile Internet, thanks to more affordable smartphones and user-friendly mobile plans that suit different segments and their lifestyles,” said Murty.
The company currently has 2.8 million active users of mobile Internet and mobile broadband services. With a pent-up demand for mobile broadband services in Malaysia, DiGi is aiming to capture a third of the 3G market in the coming years.