Vodafone New Zealand is taking the lead in the mobile market with the announcement that over 100,000 non-active users will be removed from its customer base.
The bold move has come as an initiative to better understand the true picture of customer numbers, and means that users who have not put credit on their phones for a year (and are effectively inactive) will not be counted as a Vodafone customer.
On 22nd October this year Vodafone changed the definition of ‘a customer’ stating that the user must have put credit on their account in the last 365 days to be classified as a current mobile user.
Although there has been an impact on customer numbers Tim Miles, who will take up the position of Managing Director in January, said the new definition shows a realistic approach to the business.
“We wanted to have a closer look at our customer base, clean it up and give us a better assessment of the real activity on our network. If customers have phones lying in the bottom drawer, they are of no value to us until they become active again, so this gives us a clearer picture of use of our network” he said.
“There are a number of mobile phones out there whose owners have gone overseas, switched from a Prepay service to postpay, or simply have just been lost. We don’t want to count these because they aren’t ‘real’ customers.
“We believe this is an issue with other mobile companies in New Zealand.
“Although latest figures suggest that over 62% of New Zealanders own a mobile, we believe this number is inflated as it includes customers who aren’t really active.
“The mobile industry has been focusing on counting heads, and has been preoccupied by customer numbers. Vodafone now wants to take the lead and focus on service delivery to real customers instead of counting heads.
“We want to concentrate on the value of the customer to Vodafone, and the value that we give back to our customers,” Mr Miles said.
Vodafone’s customer numbers still exceed the one million mark with the new definition in place.
The change in Vodafone New Zealand’s customer definition follows similar moves by Vodafone Australia to eliminate non-active mobile users from their customer numbers.
Vodafone New Zealand Ltd is part of Vodafone Group Plc, the world’s largest mobile telecommunications company with more than 93 million proportionate customers. The company has interests in 28 countries over five continents.
Vodafone New Zealand now has more than 1,000,000 customers on its fully digital network and provides coverage to 97 per cent of the population.