As competing VoIP technologies drive the emerging mobile VoIP industry there will be a major reduction in the calling card use. A drop in the calling card market has seen a steady decline since 2004; this trend will continue with the increase in smartphones and their free VoIP services.
What are calling cards?
Calling cards are small plastic cards with a number used to make international and cheap calls. And although the market has declined significantly, calling cards still bring in revenue for telecommunication companies, as its still alive in certain markets. Their use is still popular in many African countries where smartphones are not widespread and in nations where voice data is restricted. With predictions of a steady decline in the market, what strategies can existing calling card companies take to ensure business stays afloat?
Calling cards are often sold in places built up with migrants, tourists, foreign students and military personnel, though as calling card use declines, companies are looking for new avenues to ensure their product is sold. The ease of use calling cards presents without the need of the internet and with call reliability that beats free VoIP services you can see how they still maintain a presence in the market. Identifying those particular areas with the potential customer base is key, in particular where retailers can make the product handy to buy. However, rather than finding primary areas with potential customers, companies are now shifting their presence to 3rd world nations where VoIP is still in its infancy. The ease of purchasing the product with its availability in areas with slow smartphone growth and bad internet connection will help keep your business afloat.
With the market still alive, companies are also shifting their business to nations who restrict their voice data on internet packages. For example, UAE restricts their voice data and still has a strong calling card use. This is due to the high number of migrants and foreign workers. Another factor to consider is marketing the product correctly. Appealing to migrants who need to call loved ones or reliable calling for long durations could be simple marketing strategies to think about. Shifting your marketing strategy based on the new domains of your market such as African countries and nations who restrict voice data will be part of your new calling card business plan.
Advertising your rates transparently can also help drive sales ensuring you’re a trusted company to work with. Actually calling rates will be the largest factor in selling your product effectively; consumer friendly and transparent pricing are deal breakers. Make sure you don’t add on charges to the balance of the prepaid card with hidden fees for connection or maintenance without clearly notifying your customers in the price list. Ideally, no extra charges should be deduced from the balance. It's understandable that listing exact rates can be difficult with calling cards, but this should be part of your pricing strategy, offering cheap and transparent rates. Statistics tell us more often than not customers are choosing calling cards from trustworthy companies with a clear pricing strategies.
Another avenue to increase your market share is to save from A to Z termination rates, passing on those savings to your customers. Exploring business VoIP routing plans from different services can really help in relieving costs. Many smaller termination companies provide reliable destinations with relatively cheap prices. To put simply, research and understand your market and find providers who offer cheap rates. This is one of the most overlooked factors in calling card business strategies and can potentially stabilize your sales due the cheap rates you find available on the market.
We can see the calling card markets decline, but as it still brings in revenue for telecommunication companies a variety of things can be done to stabilize sales. Essentially, the above outlines the most important factors in increasing your market share in calling card business. The most overlooked aspect is finding cheap A to Z termination, a missing link in the calling card business strategy. Also finding new markets in underdeveloped nations will add to your calling card business plan. As the VoIP market grows, technology such as mobile dialers and mobile VoIP will continue to increase in use, so keep an eye out for our forthcoming articles which will detail more about the emerging VoIP markets.