Smart Customer Retention Strategies Using USSD and Reverse Billing

What does your customer retention strategy look like for the next year? Do you have one?

More focus than ever before is on customer experience. The statistics are irrefutable and point to the fact that your buyers have zero tolerance for inefficient methodologies, red tape, and convoluted systems. The race to the finish is no longer about your pricing or your brand name; the market is far too diluted for these things to matter.

Right now, the future of your business depends on how effective you are at giving your customers what they need when they need it; and doing it with a smile.

So, with that said how do USSD and Reverse Billing impact your customer experience and keep them coming back to you? Can these tools really make a difference?

The Secret Sauce of Customer Retention

Do you think that customer loyalty stems from any particular tactic? It’s a tough one to answer because each customer has their own expectations. However, we do know that there are a few must-haves when it comes to finding the recipe for customer retention. These include the following:


“Nobody’s got time for that!” may ring bells for Gen X and older, but it is likely also the unspoken mantra of every customer today. The fact is, we don’t have time to waste, and why should we have to? When dozens of local and off-shore organisations sell what you sell, there is absolutely no reason for your customer to jump through hoops.

This includes making use of the current tech that allows you to bypass those 20-minute calls and never-ending security questions when you want to update your home address or the serpentine route to tracking your parcel.

Therefore, it’s critical that you create an uncomplicated, seamless, personalised experience for existing and potential customers to take the headache out of their query or purchase.

How to impress your customers with USSD

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) offers a simple, device-agnostic, data-free platform to communicate with your customers. Through the use of short codes and secure, menu-driven responses, you simplify your customer communication. Use it for:

  • Payment services. This allows users to purchase products and services immediately from their mobile phones.
  • Identity verification
  • Account management
  • Order tracking

Yes, USSD is both fast and simple, both essential when you’re looking to tick the convenience box in your customer retention strategy.


Following hot on the heels of the essential element of convenience is availability. If your business offers omnichannel communication that allows you to engage with your customers on multiple platforms, then you’re on the right track. However, one of the major sticking points for businesses in the South African market is that data isn’t always affordable, and the internet isn’t always available. Is there a solution?

Reverse billing solves the problem of availability

The list of benefits of reverse billing is a long one! The key feature that we’re interested in here is the fact that you effectively remove any barriers to communication and access when you grant your customers free access to your website or specific URLs, or other assets.

No data? No problem.


It’s one thing to employ simple solutions and user-friendly systems, but it’s another to satisfy the need for immediacy. Let’s face it, we’re all super busy and probably pretty distracted for most of the day. We operate detailed checklists that allow us to stay on top of 21st Century life, which means that when we place an order, submit a query, or follow up with a delivery, we want an instant response.

USSD offers real-time service

  • Account management is easy with a few clicks of a button, allowing customers to make payments, update details, and more without having to call customer service.
  • Secure online actions that require time-sensitive OTPs
  • Real-time alerts or notifications keep customers informed

How can your business benefit from these simple yet effective communication platforms?

Getting It Right The First Time

Did you know that 93% of customers are likely to come back after experiencing great service from your company? And further to that, 78% of customers will still come back even if you’ve made a mistake (which is kind of a relief!).

The fact is, you can’t leave your customer retention strategy to chance. Any organisation that plans on not only staying afloat but enjoying a successful financial year ahead simply must take advantage of these super-simple services to kick start their customer experience and set about servicing a host of loyal, happy customers.


Chat with the Cellfind team for more information on employing USSD and Reverse Billing in your business.

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