Thursday, November 12, 2009

How shall operators package, price and offer desktop messaging to their customers in order to be successful?


Operators often ask as the above question.

The answer is clear to us. Thanks to the knowledge gained from all current deployments world wide we can see a clear pattern for achieving high usage, penetration and profitability as well as the usual mistakes when operators miss out on this.


1. Target the product to both business and consumer users

Desktop messaging is equally important for both business and consumers but need to be positioned a bit different for each segment. Business users use the product as a mass communication-, information- and marketing tool while consumers see it as a natural extension to their person-to-person communication.

A business user could therefore be a storeowner wanting to inform a large number of customers that the sale is on from tomorrow, or the company manager wanting to communicate an important message to the entire staff. More and more professionals offering services where you have to book an appointment also use desktop messaging to remind their customer about the scheduled appointment. Dentists are a good example of professionals that have managed to reduce the number missed appointment with such a feature.

To simplify for business users Mobispine provides bulk features and import of contact list to enable smooth sending’s to many.

2. Include the product in existing messaging price plans with no additional monthly fee.
Desktop messaging is by users considered a natural extension of the traditional person-to-person SMS on the mobile. A monthly fee reduces the usage dramatically and should be avoided. The users have a hard time understanding why they should pay more to send more SMS, which is fully understandable. The more messages you send as a user the better price you should get right, instead of being “punished” with a monthly fee?

3. Charge the same price for SMS as when sent from the mobile.
To charge the same price for desktop SMS as for regular SMS have two major advantages and operators that do not pursue this will suffer considerably on both usage and revenue compared with operator that embrace the same pricing.

How come?

Customers have a hard time understanding why they should be punished for sending more SMS, regardless if it’s from the PC. We all know that usage creates more usage and that users who on top of the normal SMS behaviour also send more and longer SMS when sitting in front on the PC will most likely also get more replies (replies are mainly delivered to the mobile device) and the wheel of sending and receiving is on.
Why should customers pay a higher price for SMS for sending even more SMS? This is a very valid question and the main reason to avoid a higher price.

Another reason is simplicity; It’s simply easier for the user to remember the price if it’s equal to the existing price plan for SMS. If the pricing differs the customers may hesitate to use the service due to of lack of knowledge of the new price that they might fear could be expensive.

So, be fair to you customers about pricing and they will be fair to you.

Pandelis Eliopoulos
Vice President Marketing
Mobispine AB

6 comments:

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