How X Used Social Intelligence to Drive Incremental Revenue for Telco, Robi Axiata

We’d forgive you for not knowing who X were before reading this article, but we’re willing to bet that you won’t forget them after reading it.

Positioned as being a company which brings together a bunch of curious minds to solve the evolving communication challenges of the modern age, this Bangladeshi communications agency (officially named X Solutions Ltd.) has quietly been working with big brands to help them establish a strong market presence in the region.

The X difference?  They specialise in building micro-tools and algorithms to analyse social media data, specifically designed to understand the behavioural signals of their customers.

When we spoke to Obidur Rahman, Head of Business Intelligence at X, he told us about a project where he and his team created a streamlined approach to analysing social data in order to provide a client with actionable insights that would drive business growth – not just provide engagement or campaign analysis.  

In this article, you’ll learn how he created a listening centre that fed actionable insights to three business units for telco client, Robi Axiata.

The results of this new way of working?  

An additional 120 million Bangladeshi Taka (about £1,027,858 GBP) of incremental revenue in one quarter.  


A Move to Meaningful Business Results

When we spoke with Obidur, we talked about the desire to move beyond using social data to just measure engagement.   

He explained that his company works with clients who are growing in maturity and sophistication with social data. These clients are seeking to get more and more value from social data, and are looking specifically at the ways in which it can drive business growth.   

Naturally, this was something that we could get on board with.  Perhaps you can relate too?

The team at X built upon the concept of creating a social listening centre with the primary objective of:

  1.      1. Driving new business to Robi
  2.      2. Increasing the retention rate of current Robi customers



The ROBI Listening Centre

Why a listening centre?

Obidur explained that Bangladesh has a growing number of social media users, with a reported 20 million on Facebook when he was running this project.  His client alone had 8 million Facebook fans, accounting for a whopping 2.4 million customer enquiries.

The idea was simple.  Create bespoke tools and algorithms that allow Robi to capitalise on the insights that were being shared in all of these customer enquiries.

Specifically, the X team developed the ROBI Listening Centre to assist sales and customer service teams to understand what was driving customer behaviours, particularly churn behaviours.  

They then used this insight to work with the product development team to create new products that met the real needs of discrete groups of customers.

Obidur told us that this initial insight helped Robi to optimise marketing and communications as well as make customer experience improvements.  However, the big benefit of the listening centre was in the creation of new products that were 100% driven by customer needs.


How the ROBI Listening Centre works

So, the big question is, how can social data identify insights that help to drive incremental revenue?

Obidur explained that his team were focused on developing capabilities across three areas.

Customised Software

They created micro-tools and algorithms which monitored social conversations not just about their client Robi but also about other competitors in the region.  The team placed importance on analysing trending topics across brand and lifestyle dimensions, as well as identifying opinion leaders, and investing in sentiment and contextual analysis of the different brands promotors and detractors.

This analysis led to an advanced understanding of telco customer segments in Bangladesh. It highlighted what drives behaviours, and more importantly, the triggers that could help Robi retain customers. It was also instrumental in engineering the types of products that should be created to attract new customers.  


We all know that the ability to action insights is critical.  For X, ensuring that there were agents that could engage with customers was important both in attracting new customers and in reducing customer churn.

Specifically, the listening centre used agents from relationship management, sales and customer service to engage with customers and potential customers.  The benefit of doing this online was that they were also able to collect more data which, in turn, strengthened the insight.

Data Collection

The X team created a new process which fed all of the collected data and insights to the relevant business units.  This insight helped to:

  •      Design new proof products
  •      Optimise customer communications
  •      Improve the customer experience


Insight Driven Product Development

By analysing social data, X was able to create a suite of products for Robi that spoke directly to consumer needs.  The smart thing about their approach is that they created products for discrete consumer groups – and these groups and their needs were all identified through social data.

While Obidur did not explicitly tell us how the algorithms worked, we expect that they looked at customer jobs to be done and customer pain points, and this would have been run across multiple competitors.   

Obidur kindly provided us with an example of one of the products that was created.  

A ‘Clash of Clans Data Pack’ was created to specifically target young males in the region.  The reason for this? They couldn’t get enough data or flexibility with the packages already on offer.


Big Results for Robi

The ROBI Listening Centre quickly drove three big wins for Robi.

The first is the 12,000,000 BDT in incremental revenue from new product sales in the first quarter. Obidur told us that many of these products are still on sale today and continue to do well because they speak to the needs of the market.

The second was assistance in understanding and managing the exploding social conversation about the Robi and Airtel merger in 2016.  With proper conversation classification and a streamlined process for responding to queries, X helped Robi to manage a 57% increase in conversation with only a 0.50% increase in response time.

Finally, the listening centre was used to increase retention and reduce brand detractors on social media.  Obidur told us that there were 57,500 detractors engaged with 30,000 of them being neutralised and even 4,500 turning into brand promoters.  


Our Final Thoughts

We’ve always loved using social data to find new areas of innovation and product development, having worked on many projects in this area ourselves.  What was refreshing about the X approach for Robi was the integrated way in which they achieved this.

The listening centre isn’t a document that lives on someone’s computer but is something that is actively used by a number of departments.  Building upon existing social listening tools with bespoke micro-tools and algorithms can be a good solution when you have a defined area that you wish to continually monitor and act upon.


Image Source: Photo by Sam Truong Dan on Unsplash

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Jillian Ney
Jillian Ney
I'm the founder of The Social Intelligence Lab. I champion the growth of the social intelligence industry by helping the professionals and businesses working in it to access best practice, accredited training and peer networking. After working in the industry for 12 years I believe social intelligence should become a recognised discipline - and, I'm working towards making that a reality. More content by

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