In our previous blog, Building awareness & trust: The foundation of mobile money adoption, we discussed the importance of creating awareness and value around the mobile money service. But what happens after that? Often, customers don’t continue their journey from the awareness stage. Many don’t get to the regular usage phase which is precisely what your marketing strategy is aiming for!

In this blog, we explain how to help your customer complete the mobile money adoption journey.

How to get a mobile money service “off the blocks.”

Once customers are aware of the mobile money service and its benefits (thanks to excellent mass media marketing), they could get caught up in something as simple as the registration process or may not fully understand the mechanics of transacting, leaving them uncertain about usage.

At this stage of the customer journey, a more personal approach should be taken to educate customers. Effective awareness-building campaigns have brought customers to the point of recognising how mobile money might be useful but to compel users, more work is needed to educate the consumer on how it works.
Many facets of the mobile money customer experience may not be evident for customers, so operators have to educate them so that they become knowledgeable enough to transact with confidence.

To do this, operators should leverage transactional agents, field agents, and even current users to guide potential customers from awareness to actual usage.

Agents providing that personal touch

When asked to reflect on lessons learnt while rolling out M-PESA in Tanzania, one Vodacom executive highlighted the importance of customer education. He said that a lot of effort must be invested to get people comfortable with the idea of transacting with their phones. He estimates that it takes at least 30 minutes of personal interaction (with a transactional agent, a field agent, or a friend or family member) to get a new customer to understand how to use a mobile money service.

Transactional Agents The cash-in/cash-out agents that facilitate mobile money transactions are in an ideal position to support customer activation and usage. They can answer customers’ questions and concerns about the service, customize a “sales pitch” for an individual customer, and demonstrate to customers the mechanics of transacting. Of course, in most markets, they also register customers.

Field Agents -“feet-on-the-street” is a very useful method of customer education, especially in emerging markets. While transactional agents have to wait for customers to come to them; field agents are mobile and proactive, seeking out customers.

There are three key success factors for leveraging agents to activate customers:

Incentives – Agents should be incentivised sufficiently for both registration and usage.

Marketing materials – These will help agents educate users.

Training – Agents are representatives of your mobile money brand, so this aspect is critical.

Mobile money operators can efficiently incentivise current users to refer their friends and family members. Retail vouchers, for instance, are well received!

Keeping the customer happy

Unfortunately, there are many ways that a customer experience can go wrong. From agent’s liquidity levels or poor service quality to an unstable technology platform, these all have to be monitored and dealt with if you want customers to continue to use the mobile money service.

While these issues fall outside of the scope of marketing and communications, they still need your attention as a mobile money operator. After all, one bad experience could mean that the customer never transacts again which means your marketing investment has been wasted.

Customer care plays a significant role when trying to get customers to use the service regularly. When a customer contacts customer service, it is usually because they’ve had a problem, so it’s important to resolve the issue quickly and efficiently. This should be viewed as an opportunity to keep that problem from becoming the reason a customer abandons mobile money altogether.

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