How Singtel got it right with its mobile plan for millennials

By millennials, for millennials. Some of the passionate and energetic team members who came together from existing departments in Singtel and collaborated to launch a brand new product in just six months.
By millennials, for millennials. Some of the passionate and energetic team members who came together from existing departments in Singtel and collaborated to launch a brand new product in just six months. PHOTO: SINGTEL

Less is really more.

Tell that to Arjun Arora, 28, and Jessica Chow, 27, colleagues at the Singtel team who developed GOMO — Singtel’s new SIM-only mobile plan targeted squarely at millennials.

As Singtel’s first digital-only product, the GOMO team knew they had to create a streamlined user experience to reach the hearts and minds of the digital native generation. And that meant going back to the drawing board to build something from the ground up.

Arjun, Product Marketing Manager, wanted to get customers to fill up more fields in the registration process, such as gender and nationality, to better target customers with promotions. But for Experience Producer Jessica, this was a clear violation of her core principles of “interface Zen”.

“We needed the entire registration process to be seamless and fast, else we risked losing the customer. We constantly argued over what personal information was necessary to be collected as we had to cut out all unnecessary steps to engineer a fluid onboarding experience,” quipped Jessica.

Jessica won this bout, but there were many more face-offs to come as the young GOMO team — all of whom are millennials — would constantly debate over making the whole experience as simple as possible.

Sold and operated only through the app and the web, the GOMO team does not have the benefit of a retail shop or a high-tech call centre to manage customers’ expectations.

Lee Heng Fai, 35, Associate Director, Post-paid Product Marketing said: “There are no second chances for us. We have to win over the hearts of the millennial customer the first time through offering them a good deal and developing a digital experience that is great.”

Not just another mobile plan

Creating a product for the millennial generation required a different approach. “This is the era of instant gratification. Why should price plans be any different?” said Heng Fai. “We listened to our customers and we know what millennials desire. They want a fantastic and fuss-free experience, control, no hidden charges and a clean, straightforward user experience,” he added.

Ideated in October 2018, the GOMO plan took just six months to launch . It’s currently one of the most competitive no-contract plans in the market. For just $20 per month, the user gets 20GB of data, 200 SMS and 200 minutes of outgoing talk-time. Incoming calls are free. There are no hidden charges, no throttling of speeds, no caller ID charges, not even any registration or delivery charges.

Users also don’t have to worry about bill shocks. When the user depletes his data, SMS or talk-time limits, that particular service stops working. For an extra $10, the user can boost his monthly usage limits by a bundle of another 10GB of data, 100 SMS and 100 minutes of talk time. It’s truly legit.

Just like the way users subscribe to Netflix, users need to link a credit card for its monthly deductions. And like Netflix, you can unsubscribe at any time to end your GOMO subscription.

GOMO combines the best of both worlds — the convenience of having monthly billings of a post-paid account with the peace of mind of a pre-paid account that is protected against bill shocks.

If there was one bugbear, it’s that it does not have voice or data roaming, a feature that the GOMO team is fully aware of and are giving serious thought to. In the meantime, users can avail themselves of the GOMO Travel SIM, which offers 3GB of roaming data in eight territories — Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia. Indonesia, Macau, Thailand, Philippines and Taiwan — for 10 days. The good news: every purchase of the GOMO Mobile SIM gets the free travel SIM if they sign up by June 6.


The GOMO team huddles daily at the 11am stand-up session to troubleshoot issues and decide on quick actions to be taken. PHOTO: SINGTEL

The customer is king

Listening to customers and responding quickly are also the mantras of the GOMO team. The GOMO team uses multiple WhatsApp chat groups to quickly communicate with one another and to address critical issues quickly.

Arjun recalls one incident where a customer was web chatting at 2am with a customer chat agent and asked a tough question that she needed help from the product marketing team.

“Many millennials like me are still awake at that time. So I responded immediately instead of waiting for the next day,” he said.

And then there is the daily 11am stand up session. That’s where all GOMO team members huddle to troubleshoot issues and decide on quick actions for the day.

GOMO’s early success meant that a surge in customer demand came with a few problems. There weren’t enough delivery slots to cope with the popular night deliveries and customers were complaining on social media about slow response on the customer chat support. 

The GOMO team responded immediately. Within a month of the launch, they tripled the number of chat agents and substantially beefed up the number of delivery slots to improve responsiveness.

Erica Teo, 22, has been a customer care officer with GOMO for three months. “We take all feedback from customers seriously and it’s very encouraging that we can see the management team taking action to resolve real customer pain points,” she said.

Simplicity is the key to success

For GOMO to appeal to the millennials, it needed to be fast and accessible. That meant that the GOMO team had to break out of the traditional Singtel mould. Without phone or retail support, GOMO’s only form of customer support is 24x7 chat — the instant communication method of choice for the millennial generation.

According to Singtel, users take an average of three to five minutes to complete the onboarding process. Users can only order the GOMO SIM online and the SIM card is delivered on the same day — if customers order it before 1030am. That’s instant, well almost, gratification for you.

That is also the reason why there are only three products that are sold — the GOMO Mobile SIM, the $10 bundle boost and the GOMO Travel SIM.

The user experience remains a key barometer for GOMO’s success. The GOMO team pulled together a group of over 30 of their millennial colleagues to beta test the product. That meant delaying the product launch for another two months, but it was necessary to get it right the first time.

To complete the registration process, the user has to upload photos of his or her NRIC, both front and back. When Hoe Wah Kiat, 29, discovered that in the beta app testing, he would often forget whether the uploaded image file was the back or the front of the IC, the GOMO team decided to add thumbnails to save the time of the customer.

Jessica said: “It might be a small change, but it made a big impact on the user experience.”

“For GOMO to succeed, we have to make sure everything is kept simple and fuss-free,”  Arjun added.