In the mega-competitive Indian wireless market, where operators are battling for subscribers amid plummeting data prices, a successful customer retention campaign launched by Indian mobile operator Reliance Jio is winning adherents.

JioInteract is an artificial intelligence-driven app that engages customers via ‘video chats’ with celebrities and provides them with a platform for buying film tickets.

JioInteract’s initial AI video bot-call in June 2018, with established Bollywood personality Amitabh Bachchan, generated a staggering 13 million interactions in 14 days and 1950 TB of mobile data usage.

A year after launching, JioInteract has evolved from a video-bot call to offer a wide range of interactive services to engage customers, such as quiz capabilities, animated bots, brand campaign boosters and additional regional language support, to become India’s top brand engagement platform.

India wireless engagement

In a largely prepaid market, such as India, switching operators is easy and customer retention is vital. Effective brand engagement and value-added services can boost customer loyalty and stickiness, as seen with the rapid rise of a new entrant such as Reliance Jio.

Reliance Jio launched its services in September 2016, and within two years became the second-largest mobile operator in India with more than 300 million subscribers and an industry-low monthly churn of 0.75% by Q1 2019, thanks to its astoundingly low 4G service and data pricing.

India’s mobile data consumption also shot up from 1GB per month in 2016 to 10GB per month by 2018.

JioInteract’s contextual AI technology is patented in India, Europe, the United States and Japan, which makes it difficult for rivals to offer a similar service in the near future.

The app’s back-end AI can be embedded in any other external application, which has allowed for JioInteract to rapidly expand from the entertainment industry to customer care services in markets such as banking, travel, finance and health.

India is poised for a mobile data surge

India, the second largest telecom market in the world, is poised for a mobile internet revolution especially in tier II and III cities and Reliance Jio is well-poised to do so. As rival operators – such as Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Airtel – race to offset Jio’s aggressive data pricing and smartphone offers, it is essential for Jio to continue to offer unique features to sustain its momentum. Since rivals cannot replicate the JioInteract service in the short-term without a significant financial investment, they may find ways to partner with other non-telecom apps to offer simpler value-added, voice-based services with which to engage customers.

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