Business to Consumer
Cable TV/Telecom/Internet Industry
Outbound Sales – Customer Acquisition and Upsell
Situation: Client provides cable TV, phone and internet service to consumers
in a major U.S. metropolitan market. Client currently outsources sales calling to
one vendor, but would like to spread risk across an additional vendor and
improve on current vendor’s manual processes by engaging a vendor that can
integrate with client billing and provisioning systems for greater process
efficiency and enhanced visibility into customer accounts. Additional challenges
included the following:
- Client wanted to sell multiple services, including cable TV, phone, and
high-speed internet. A key goal was to promote multiple products to each
prospect in an effort to generate bundled sales, as well as add-on services
such as DVR, HD, premium channels, and phone calling features.
- Target market consisted of a concentrated Hispanic population, thereby
necessitating a bilingual team. Also, the records would not be consistently
marked as Spanish-speaking, so the agents had to be truly bilingual.
- Calling activities would be set up and managed as a large number of
moderate sized campaigns targeting many and various customer
segments rather than one ongoing campaign setup approach.
Solution: Based on the familiarity and depth of Affinitas experience with the
cable industry and cable clients, Affinitas proposed:
- Establishing a real-time link between Affinitas and the client
billing/provisioning system. Affinitas was already knowledgeable and
experienced in working within this system, as well as the suite of products
- Staffing with a team of veteran agents with experience in the cable
- Placing the work in the Affinitas Arizona facility. This facility
features a complete bilingual Hispanic team consisting of agents, trainers, supervisors, and QA staff who were raised speaking both Spanish and
English while being immersed in both the American culture and their traditional Hispanic culture. As such, these agents speak with minimal accents in either language.
- Developing a unique approach to automated scripting whereby a universal
script was created with a standard greeting, client identification, and value
statement. This was followed by identification of the customer’s current
service, as indicated by the list name (e.g. – digital video), along with a
customer-specific detailed account review driven by customer data from
the billing system shown in a separate on-screen window. From this point
the Affinitas agents used a free-form consultative selling approach asking
probing questions to determine usage patterns and preferences, making
specific recommendations for services that would benefit customers, and
sharing specific promo offers available in the billing system. Upon
customer acceptance, agents entered the new service(s) into the billing
system and schedule an appointment for installation if needed.
- Developing a unique approach to records management where the calling
file has very few links to the automated script (as noted above) so that
incoming calling files could be loaded quickly into the dialer with minimal
processing and data programming.
Results: The Affinitas team exceeded client performance goals on the first
campaign, and have consistently met or exceeded goals ever since. Details are
- Client SPH goal was .25 for English records. Affinitas has consistently achieved an SPH of .25 to .30 on this list segment.
- SPH on English records increases from .3 to .35 when taking into account the multiple RGU’s generated during calling, thereby achieving the goal of
upselling current customers into multi-product bundles.
- Client SPH goal was also .25 for Hispanic records. Multilingual agents
were able to move from English to Spanish with ease as prospects
demonstrated a preference to speak in Spanish, resulting in an SPH of .30
to .50 on Hispanic records. Today, 70% of the agent team is bilingual.
- The innovative approach to automated scripting coupled with access to
the billing system has allowed Affinitas to utilize a true consultative selling
approach where the specific needs and uses of prospects can be
uncovered, and agents are able to recommend specific solutions with
features and benefits that meet the specific needs of each prospect.
- The innovative approach to record management has allowed Affinitas to
begin calling on records within 3 to 4 hours of having received them. Over
the last year Affinitas has completed nearly 100 individual campaigns
since the initial campaign, with incredible speed to market on fresh
- The real-time link to the provisioning system allowed for account set up and scheduling of installations, thereby improving on the efficiency of the
current vendor’s manual approach required for this process.
- Affinitas has outperformed the original client vendor every time that a head-to-head A-B list split was performed.
- Affinitas volumes and staffing have grown steadily over the last year in recognition of the successful calling results. Agent staffing has steadily
grown from 8 FTE to 30 FTE over the last year, peaking to 70 FTE in Q4
2009 to accommodate a national initiative targeting customers who had a
high propensity to churn.
- Client considers Affinitas the “go-to” vendor for the more challenging offer strategies and historically difficult target groups where low response rates
have been the norm.