Companies & Industries

Rogers introduces a new mobile data management tool aimed at families

Customers on the Rogers Share Everything plan will be able to monitor family members data-use in real time and either top them up or cut them off

Smartphones with people sharing Snapchat details

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call/Getty)

In November of 2014, Rogers introduced what would prove to be one of its more popular products: Roam Like Home. For an additional $5 per day, Canadian customers on the company’s Share Everything plan can access mobile data in the U.S. for the same rates they would pay at home. Roughly two years since the product’s launch, Rogers CEO Guy Laurence says that customers who use the service are twice as likely to recommend Rogers to others.

It’s all part of a larger strategy that Rogers (which owns Canadian Business) has been pursuing under Laurence: By removing an area of customer anxiety, the company is able to drive demand, increase customer retention and acquire new ones.

The same strategy is at work in a new service the company announced late last week, which will allow customers to control their data usage in real-time. Available through the existing MyRogers app, the tool will allow a family’s designated bill-payer to purchase a set amount of data and allocate it to different family members. Then, said bill-payer will be able watch how much data each family member is using in real-time, and either buy them some more or pause their usage for the month.

“The whole point of this is to put the control back into the hands of the customer,” says Laurence. “The big thing you hear is, ‘How much data am I using on my mobile phone, how much is this costing me and how can I control it?’” Laurence says that company receives 1.5 million calls annually about mobile data usage. “Customers are asking, ‘How could I have used that much?’ and ‘Why has it gone up this month?’” he says.

It’s this pain point that the company is aiming to address with the new data-monitoring tool. “You have anxiety in bill payers in how much data is going to cost them,” Laurence explains. A recently conducted Rogers study found that 89% of the company’s customers—which tend to be largely families, according to Laurence—want more control over how much they’re spending on mobile data, and how much their children are independently using. “What we’re hearing is not that they’re resentful of how much mobile data costs,” says Laurence. “They’re saying that they want control of those costs.”

Laurence says Canada’s ever-growing demand for mobile data makes a tool like this increasingly necessary. “Wireless data has grown just over 500% in the last five years,” he shares. “The industry prediction is that it will continue to grow another 500%.” With Rogers customers accessing more and more video on their mobile devices, the new tool aims to ease their anxiety about how much they’ll have to pay at the end of the month, and why.

It all goes back to the same business strategy: build a service that successfully alleviates customer pain points, and the customers will come. “We initially lost revenue making Roam Like Home,” Laurence says. “What happened was consumers felt comfortable using data abroad, and we’re now net positive.” Laurence says that the number of complaints the company receives about international roaming is now down by 90%.