Monday, November 23, 2009

Extending the Landline Business

NTCA Webinar: Breathing Life into Landlines by Building Community Services. Presented by Jeff Leslie, ITS Telecom and Fredel Thomas, CHR Solutions.

Summary: Now, more than ever, communications providers are looking for ways to increase profitability while sustaining landline loss. One company, ITS Telecommunications System Inc., is revolutionizing the way in which communications providers can re-value the landline by servicing their communities. Hear from ITS CEO Jeff Leslie as he reveals how interlinking communications among businesses and the public sector has enabled ITS to add value to the landline, creating stickiness and brand loyalty.

My notes from the webinar:

ITS is an Independent telco in Indiantown, Florida that is about to have Comcast in their yard. They be Scared. So they hired a consulting firm - like Schwimler, CHR, JSI - to come in to evaluate the offerings of Comcast and the ITS differentiation. The result was ITS rolled out some new wireline offerings:

  1. Notification Broadcast Calling - Messages sent to customized list; Broadcast system can be used for Late pay reminders as well as Community info.
  2. Notification Hotline
  3. Info Line is a call-in line for messages. Like voice mail messaging (800 24 hour hotline)
  4. Wake-Up Call application

These apps are provided via Martin ESP by CHR Solutions. Although ITS has a Metaswitch, they don't use it for these apps. No real reason given.

ITS has trained its techs to do sales. Everyone needs to be selling. So the truck roll becomes a sales call.

ITS also has its own Geek Squad - 2 guys, I think he said. They give coupons to new customers for PC Repair. Techs remind customers about the PC Repair and the coupons. It's a sticky point.

Upselling and cross-selling occurs at the 2/2/2 follow up schedule - 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months.

On DSL: ITS is not marketing Naked DSL. They are also Not tracking much; can’t say what ARPU is (doesn’t know or won't say?) He mentioned Topless DSL?? Different from Naked according to TelcoTV. [Windstream sells Topless]

Comcast offers "12 custom calling features free with offer". ITS response: "Who can use/remember 12? How about 4? Free conference bridge? Does Comcast offer a free conference bridge? Or these Notification Apps?

ITS also markets DirecTV. It's ISP is a separate company that the telco sells services to.

Overall, the wireline revenue is tied to its apps - Conferencing, notification and messaging services, etc.

By the way, ITS did mention that they gave everyone who wanted one a free speed upgrade on DSL, but that it was not a smooth process at all. I didn't get many details.

Key lessons:

  1. Everyone is in Sales.
  2. Follow up!
  3. Cross-sell!
  4. Hire a Consultant! Call 813-963-5884 today ;)

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