Nuts & Bolts - Case Study: Suddenlink Calls for Change

Suddenlink matches customer behavior, demographics and predicted attitudes with localized offers to help call-center agents close more sales and better appreciate top customers.

Challenge: Efficiently retain and upsell customers.
Inform call-center agents about which offers will be relevant to which customers.
A more than 20 percent increase in monthly orders generated by care-related calls.

What happened to Jerry Dow one day in a Suddenlink Communications call center is possibly the dream occurrence for every boss. A customer service representative, so grateful about how a software improvement he’d helped implement simplified the direct marketing process, hugged him.

“She said the MORE tool had helped her achieve her goals for the first time since she’d been employed at Suddenlink,” recalls the St. Louis-based cable broadband company’s chief marketing and sales officer, referring to Marketing Optimization and Recommendation Engine software from Framingham, Mass.-based marketing solutions provider Pluris.

What this representative experienced was an example of what Suddenlink had been seeing on a grander scale since automating its call-center inbound marketing program. After adding the marketing automation tool in fall 2008, Suddenlink saw a more than 20 percent increase in orders during its more than 500,000 monthly inbound calls.

Suddenlink has 1.3 million customers who dial in more than 6 million times a year. Although its business is primarily in the South, Suddenlink serves a diverse customer base in 19 states. Dow says he wanted to get away from tossing out a blanket offer every month and provide different consumers with different offers that were more applicable to their households and lifestyles.

After inputting data and getting the tool up and running in a little more than two months, Suddenlink’s local marketing reps began putting offers into the system and Pluris started maintaining and hosting the system that is updated daily. (Customer information includes date of most recent purchase, payment history, service/trouble history, next most likely product to purchase, segment, likelihood to churn and lifetime value.)

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

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