PLDT, Smart eye bigger customer base with Davao converged stores

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DAVAO CITY — PLDT, Inc. and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. have opened two converged stores here with an aim to grow their respective customer base, especially in the postpaid segment.

PLDT-Smart Senior Vice-President and Head of Consumer Business Customer Development Alex O. Caeg, speaking at the combined hub’s opening in GMall of Davao Friday, said they will “push the postpaid businesses both for home and wireless.”

“We want to elevate the kind of customer experience, especially for the Smart postpaid customers… we also can do some cross-selling,” Mr. Caeg said.

For Smart, he said their current customer base ratio for prepaid and postpaid is 9:1, which gives a lot of room for attracting more postpaid subscribers.

The postpaid service, he said, provides wider and priority access to services.

He explained, for example, that in an area where there is a “high level of customer convergence,” postpaid customers get priority in line access through the Smart Signature.

For PLDT, Mr. Caeg said their initial target is to convince fixed-line customers who are not yet connected to the fiber optic network to shift to the service.

The other PLDT-Smart store in Davao, located at the SM Lanang Premier, is operated in partnership with local firm 8telcom, Inc.

As for the opening of PLDT-Smart Converged Stores in other parts of Mindanao, Mr. Caeg said they still need to fully assess customer profiles and determine where the services would be viable.

“There is always a plan to open (converged stores) in other key cities in Mindanao, but we are open to partnership (such as in SM Lanang) and whether there is a growth area for postpaid service particularly for (PLDT) Home,” he added.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Carmelito Q. Francisco

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