weex is a digital service hub offering an MVNO service as well as a digital wallet. The company was founded in 2014 as part of the Coca-Cola Founders startup investment program. weex’s mission is to empower Mexican youth through services that traditional companies don’t typically offer. weex’s MVNO offering focuses on the “unbundling” and allows users to buy data-packages for a specific app (Facebook, Instagram, Spotify etc.).
“Starting December 2017, we launched the BETA version of our second product, a digital wallet. We wanted to enable the unbanked mexican youth with a simple payment method to transact online. To for example purchase a Spotify subscription or buy on Amazon.” – Abdala Pineda, Chief Revenue Officer at weex. Abdala handles Customer acquisition, retention, revenue streams and margins for weex, as he adds, “basically all that is connected to establishing the value of our product and that’s where Survicate is coming in.”
Looking for a perfect survey
The company was experiencing a certain amount of churn but wasn’t able to put the finger on the cause. “We knew coverage was somewhat responsible for churn, but we didn’t know to what extend. We didn’t have an forecasting model that would tell us when a user is going to churn” says Abdala. “So it was down to interviewing users and trying to understand their behaviors.”
weex began by calling the customers to discover the churn reasons. Such feedback was valuable, but hard to quantify and organize. “Overall it was prone to the interpretation of the customer support caller,” Abdala says.
What weex realized during that process, was that in order to use the feedback, they need to have a direct, undistorted communication between them and customers. weex already used Intercom to establish that line, but they need an automatized way to survey their churning customers and collect the data in one place. “When we realized that, then came Survicate. It was very easy to use and only required one-click integration with our CRM, Intercom. Once integrated we pushed out our first survey, to try and understand churn a little bit better,” says Abdala.
“It was easier for us to automate the entire process, create a survey with Survicate Intercom Integration and leave it running to automatically collect feedback data on its own,” Abdala explains.
Clarity over churned users
weex started surveying customers with a simple email survey, which was the best way to reach their customers. “We’ve noticed you’ve recently ported out. Can you tell us what was the reason?” (In telecommunication, the term “port out” means to switch between mobile operators). Customer had a few reasons to choose from: the network coverage and speed, customer service, a competitor offer; among others. By implementing first question directly in the email, Survicate allowed weex to gather quantitative data about the churn. To find out more, the single choice question was followed by an open-ended one asking for more details.
The results were clear, almost half of the port out customers were doing so because of the lack of coverage. As Abdala comments, “We knew the network was an issue and used to attribute most of the churn to it. However, this was a blind guess which prevented us from looking into the other possible reasons for churn in which we actually had the opportunity to act upon.”
Luckily, the other half of the customers gave some room to improve. “Once we got the survey data we figured it out that there was a certain percentage of users that got lost in our offer and data package model” adds Abdala, “A significant part of these users did not understand our offering and thought that we were more expensive than the competition.” From that point on, weex began to change the communication and presented the product in a more transparent way.
“It wasn’t a price issue,” says Abdala “but a marketing communication one. Our model works by paying only for the services that you use. We needed to educate our customers about being smart with the data consumption on a monthly bases and then purchase the packs which fulfill your needs no more, no less. Thanks to Survicate, we finally figured it out, and began adjusting our communication to show this more transparently.”
With the results in mind, weex launched a series of ad campaigns directed at their young audience. Now thanks to the user feedback the churn is under control and weex can focus on improving product offer.
Hidden reason for the inactive user
From another survey, weex discovered an issue, that didn’t meet the eye at first.
About 38% of customers who “churned” didn’t actually abandoned the service, in fact, some customers used weex as their second/emergency line. “In our segment, there is no easy way to see whether a customer is using our service as primary or secondary SIM card,” stresses Abdala. “With Survicate we can directly ask our users via email survey whether we’re the primary or secondary line.”
With Survicate, weex was able to investigate and survey about the reasons why customers were choosing their service as a second line. They also found out more about the customer’s primary mobile network. Based on this findings, weex introduced new data packages and adjusted the offer to convert these customers into more frequent users.
“It wasn’t possible with the traditional surveys or calls,” Abdala tells us, “often the user wouldn’t pick up but it wasn’t due to the churn, as we thought, but because weex is his secondary line. With Survicate we’re able to survey all our users regardless of which line we are to them.”
Trust your customer – they know more than you think
Sometimes it turns out users know more than you about the product. That was also the case with weex. One of weex’s packages was dedicated to gamers. It offered unlimited gaming for a certain amount of days. Surprisingly, at some point users began to train away from the service.
“We didn’t know how to identify the problem,” says Abdala, “that is until we saw the text answers in our survey.” It turned out that the packages didn’t work for some of the customers, a quick fix had the pack up and running in no time. “We pulled it out of one of the weekly Survicate data reviews. With Survicate data we pinpoint the issues that are hard to find otherwise by our Customer Support Team and Developers.”
Online payment for all
weex wanted to empower the young Mexicans further. Because of the age, geography, or socio-economic situation, a segment of users can’t be a part of the financial system yet. They operate only in cash which constrains them from using services such as Amazon, Netflix or Spotify.
weex decided to change that with their new product, weex wallet. Using Survicate, they meticulously surveyed customers needs, what they expect of the service and what for they would use it. “We asked about their spending, how much their bills were, do they pay them themselves or their parents pay for that, how they pay it (cash or transfer),” Abdala reveals. With the answers, weex was able to figure out the right product fit.
Once they launched the app on mobile devices, they re-surveyed the customers to know what their feelings about the service were. Customers said that they weren’t comfortable with making a payment with the app when there was a fee added on top of the transaction.
Abdala and the team “figured out the way to give them fee refunds for the first 3 months of the service so they could generate some transactions and get accustomed to the app. Eventually, the benefits of the wallet app would overshadow the fee,” Abdala concludes. Since its launch, the Wallet app has been downloaded over 50 thousand times from the Google Play Store.
With surveys, weex is able to show their customers that feedback is valuable to them. They prove it by acting on it and improving products and services suited exactly to customers’ needs. What weex discovered along the way allowed them to improve weex’s business strategy, build better products, rapidly respond to unexpected issues and get control over churn. In order to empower the next generations, it is crucial to understand what tools are necessary, and what’s a better way to find out than to ask?