Every business has an inherent interest in Competitive Information, Qwest being no exception. Peak Systems was working with Qwest to research such information and keep a current database thereof while also strategically expanding the overall effort. Working with key marketing players from Qwest, we expanded the scope of the Consumer database, then quickly doubled efforts with the creation of the Small Business side.
Vast amounts of time were spent compiling pricing and promotion information for competitors of Qwest and keeping a live database-driven internal Web site current. Sources included proprietary, internal Qwest documents, partnerships with vendors such as Competitrack & Telogical Systems, and good old-fashioned manual research. I would profile as a new customer in areas which were serviced by a direct Qwest competitor and price out various combinations of products and services.
The primary users were the various Call Centers which dealt with prospective and/or frustrated customers. We compiled monthly info sheets which fleshed out wall-sized posters placed in the Call Centers themselves. We expanded to the Small Business market and additional help was hired to handle the additional work, under my direction.
I learned that profiling customers to show them correct pricing information isn't as formulaic as one might think. There is a wide variety of profiling approaches, all designed to get potential customers farther along in the ordering process without having them speak to an actual human. This was particularly difficult the more one got away from Consumer/Home.
Why Aren't I Still Working There?
As Qwest moved towards their merger with CenturyLink, the Advertising & Promotions site was an eventual budgetary casualty.
We start with the front page of the internal DB we kept constantly worked to keep current. One of the uses was to create large posters with current promotional information for call centers. Telogical Systems provided invaluable tools such as email alerts and a customized competitive information database.