“Basically, the way that Airtime Recharge works is as a virtual wallet, created by ourselves for our clients. These customers then utilise the virtual wallet to push airtime to their own customer bases. While this product has many potential applications, the one we are finding is most popular at present is to provide airtime as a reward in various loyalty programmes,” he says.
While many companies have launched loyalty programmes as a means of retaining existing customers, not all of these have been particularly successful. This is because there is quite often a lack of tangible loyalty scheme benefits on offer. If a loyalty programme is supposed to keep current customers coming back for more, says Odendaal, it needs to offer them returns that are both instantaneous and useful.
“This is where Airtime Recharge really comes into its own. After all, with the massive proliferation of mobile devices in the country, airtime is one benefit that anyone can quickly and easily make use of. In particular the youth market and the less well-off will find such an incentive not only valuable, but a sure sign that the company understands their needs, since it is providing them the kind of rewards they want from a loyalty programme.”
“The goal of such programmes should be to increase value to the beneficiaryand respond directly to customers’ needs. The best way of doing this is by compensating customers for their loyalty as soon as you can, with benefits that they can actually use. This is clearly why airtime is such a popular choice – South Africans’ love of everything mobile means that it is the one reward that will truly be appreciated by everyone,” he states.
Mira Networks is a mobile services aggregator and is recognised as a leading provider of connectivity and billing tools between business and mobile networks. The company provides platform and message bearer services to a number of key players within the mobile technology sector. Mira Networks is also a member of the Wireless Applications Service Providers Association (WASPA), the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF), Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and the GSM Association (GSMA).