The strong development and determined compliance with the strategy of the Elisa consumer customer business guaranteed good results in 2016. Our main objectives are to be the leading provider of telecommunications and online services in our home market and to achieve international growth.
Our subscription clientele continued to grow in the difficult market situation due to the fast 4G connections, value-generating additional services and increased demand for fixed connections. Unlimited mobile data, Finland’s fastest network, and the active use of smartphones and applications accelerated the move among our customers to becoming users of the faster 4G connections.
Demand for new digital services increased in both our main market areas, Finland and Estonia, and internationally. The combined revenue of our digital services was over EUR 100 million.
In addition to operational excellence and an extensive selection of services, we focus on continuously improving customer satisfaction in all of our customer service channels. Furthermore, we assist our customers of different ages in the increasingly digital world with our services and content that make their everyday lives easier and offer them experiences.
Users of fast connections are the most satisfied
The volume of mobile data in Elisa’s network reached an all-time high. Many of our customers switched to the faster 4G connections, and the users of the fast connections were clearly the most satisfied. The demand for faster data connections has increased because people like to watch moving images on a variety of terminal devices. Our customers are increasingly interested in watching videos, live TV and recorded TV programmes on their smartphones and tablets. The number of people using augmented reality applications, such as Pokémon GO, is also increasing.
Brisk sales of terminal devices continued. We want to offer our customers the most comprehensive range of devices, and we want to be the first operator to offer the latest technologies. For example, we were the first reseller in Europe to launch the hugely popular OnePlus phones. Of our value-generating additional services, the Elisa Pilvilinna cloud storage, Square Trade additional security service, Elisa Tietoturva data security package and the Elisa Perhe service continued to increase in popularity.
We continued our investments in expanding our 4G network and adding capacity. Studies show that Elisa’s 4G network is the fastest in Finland, and the network reaches 99 per cent of all residents. Furthermore, Elisa is Finland’s largest fixed-network operator. This position was further solidified by the acquisition of Anvia. We brought fibre even closer to our customers and expanded our coverage by over 75,000 households, allowing speeds of up to 100 Mbit/s in low-rise residential areas and up to 1,000 Mbit/s in blocks of flats and terraced houses. Customers will benefit the most in teleworking and home entertainment, such as online gaming.
New content and strong growth in digital services
Demand for digital services continued to be high. We developed the availability of our services and introduced plenty of new content. We want to offer our customers the widest selection of exclusive content not available through any other services.
Over the course of the year, its demand and Net Promoter Score were very high. Plenty of new Finnish and international entertainment and sports content was added to Elisa Viihde. Elisa Viihde is showing, for instance, the FIFA World Cup European qualifiers, European club football and Mestis ice hockey league games. Fanseat has become a popular sports entertainment service that brings important sports series and events for viewing to our customers both in Finland and abroad. Fanseat can be viewed in Finland as part of Elisa Viihde, and through separate network and mobile apps in Finland and abroad.
The popularity of audiobooks is clearly increasing, and over 650,000 e-books were downloaded from Elisa Kirja in 2016. Elisa Kirja now includes more than a thousand audiobooks in Finnish.
As the Finnish pioneer in this field, Elisa has an important role in promoting sustainable and responsible digitalisation. We continuously make our services easier to use and better available to all with the help of feedback from the customer interface and user testing. For example, we realised a pilot project where we hired young people to guide older people in the use of mobile technology at our stores in Espoo and Vantaa. Valuable work towards the future is also being done in Elisa’s popular children’s digital schools all around Finland.
Customer satisfaction and ease of use are the most important
Customer satisfaction, easy transactions, Net Promoter Score and customer loyalty are the key elements of our operations. Based on the feedback we received, we were able to develop our business over the course of the year to make our customers even more satisfied. We will determinedly continue this work.
We continued the development of the online experience and our online store, which was reflected in our increased sales and improved customer service experience. In June, we opened Elisa Kulma in downtown Helsinki and online. Elisa Kulma provides an excellent service experience, promotes discussion on topical issues in the field of digitalisation and launches products that are not available anywhere else, such as UBTECH robots that teach programming. We selected enthusiastic and imaginative advisors from among more than 30,000 applicants to assist us in providing this service of the future.
Our goal when meeting customers is earse of use and removing any problems from our services. In the future, we will focus more on developing a multi-channel service for our customers and ensuring that solving problems is even easier than before for our customers. We introduced more automation and utilised our first experiences in the delivery of software robotics to improve the availability of our services to customers.
We also aim to offer our customers as good service as possible in their native language. Over the course of the year, we invested in multilingual customer service. Oma Elisa serves customers in Swedish and English in addition to Finnish. These are also the language alternatives available in invoicing, order confirmations and our most important customer instructions. Through recruitments and the acquisition of Anvia, Elisa clearly improved its expertise in service in Swedish. We also offer selected consumer services in Arabic.
Continuous development and the enthusiasm of our customer service personnel is a key issue that improves customer satisfaction. In 2016, we yet again achieved a record-breaking result in our personnel satisfaction index.
Elisa Estonia’s Consumer Customers business
The mobile subscription market share of Elisa Estonia increased, and Elisa solidified its market position. Digital services are growing, and the sales volumes of Elisa Estonia’s Eestin Raamat e-book service broke records. We also launched customer pilot projects of our Estonian and Russian language entertainment service in Elisa Estonia.
We acquired the Estonian business of cable TV operator Starman, which enables us to offer services for a larger clientele in Estonia and to sell services to customers of both Elisa and Starman.
Director, Consumer Customers