This article is sponsored by MyRepublic.
For mobile service providers in Singapore, there’s nothing usual about “business as usual”. From the excitement of the 3G deployment in the early 2000s to the imminent arrival of 5G today, the only constant for telcos has been a never-ending race to win new customers and keep existing customers happy in an increasingly saturated marketplace.
Despite an already high local mobile penetration rate of 148.2 percent in 2020, a record total number of service providers today are vying for their slice of the subscription pie, from incumbent brands to new upstart mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs).
To win customers over, providers have been slashing prices and relying on competitive pricing strategies as a key differentiating factor. Is simply engaging in price wars the way forward for telcos and MVNOs in this current landscape?
MyRepublic believes the answer is a firm “no”.
“We believe in competitive pricing, and our mobile plans reflect that philosophy. However, a cut-throat price war is nothing, but a race to the bottom,” says Lawrence Chan, managing director, MyRepublic Singapore.
“Low price tags and high data allowances may be music to consumers’ ears, as they may imply better deals. But over the long run, such price wars are unsustainable and something has got to give.”
Ultimately, customers usually end up bearing the brunt of the disappointment when telcos inevitably introduce data caps or when they compromise on service offerings to meet the slim profit margins.
How does MyRepublic continue to deliver value to customers in this competitive landscape? The brand chalks it down to three key factors: trust, service and innovation.
Build trust with its customers by being transparent and personable
Instead of regarding brands as faceless corporations, customers increasingly expect brands to share their values and be honest and transparent with them. According to a study by Stackla, 86% of consumers consider authenticity a key factor when choosing what brands they like and support. A recent survey revealed that an overwhelming 96% of Gen Z consumers are willing to pay more for brands that are transparent.
Earning trust goes beyond offering attractive pricing models. For brands, this means being able to relate to their audiences through their brand voice or marketing strategy. MyRepublic’s recent brand refresh emphasised its efforts to differentiate itself with a stronger focus on customer-driven service offerings.
“In many ways, customers can relate to us because we are customers too,” Chan says.
“We use broadband services too, be it for gaming or work, and we understand what customers need from a service provider, the pain points we can help them solve, and how to provide a seamless user experience.”
By forming a clear understanding of what customers need and value, MyRepublic hones in on what really matters to them.
Deliver quality service at all customer touch-points
Beyond just a transactional exchange of services, customers today regard quality service as an essential part of the relationship. Customers’ understanding and perception of good service has continually evolved, and today, they are not just comparing you with your competitors. They are comparing your level of customer service with every other company they interact with.
MyRepublic understands that on an intrinsic level. Rather than compete based on price, it offers premium services that delight customers and enhances brand loyalty, such as regular mobile data boosts, attractive broadband re-contract offers as well as regular giveaway contests for MyRepublic customers.
This commitment to putting customers first has reaped the company tangible results. Users on the popular personal finance portal Seedly have voted MyRepublic as the top-rated mobile virtual network operator and broadband service provider in Singapore, and positive stories of the brand’s customer service frequently surface on social media.
Innovate continuously to make lives easier
Steve Jobs famously said: “People don’t know what they want until you show it to them.” Being able to anticipate customers’ needs, and innovating products and services to fill the perceived gaps in the market has been crucial to MyRepublic’s success.
“We were the first in Singapore to launch a broadband product optimised for gamers, and every other telco has since followed suit,” Chan recalls.
This spirit of innovation continues to guide MyRepublic’s thinking as it continues to roll out new products that improve the lives of its customers by providing them with seamless, fuss-free connectivity.
In July, MyRepublic announced a new eSIM service that gets customers online in less than five minutes, without having to queue up at a physical store or wait for a physical SIM delivery. And earlier this year, MyRepublic launched a self-serve SIM card activation for new mobile customers, affording flexibility and a more seamless sign-up process without compromising on security.
As remote working arrangements remain the default way of working for many, the company also recently announced its ModernWorkplace solutions to streamline collaboration platforms, increase employee productivity, and strengthen security practices.
In sum, MyRepublic asserts that today’s businesses can no longer rely on yesterday’s tactics to deal with tomorrow’s challenges. Service providers, too, will have to adapt to the ever-changing landscape and not depend solely on tired price wars to win customers.
While competitive prices are necessary to provide value-for-money services, telcos need to look beyond prices and adjust their marketing strategies to understand and connect with their customers.