Self-managment and Upselling: A cost-saving strategy

Each time, more people choose to use tools that allow them to self-manage their services, seeking to avoid interacting with call center agents, making phone calls, and having to wait to be attended. They are turning to any type of channel that allows them to do so by their own means and in real time.

The origin of self-management sites was a simple portal for the basic configuration of a service (for example, e-mail accounts). However, those have become sites where customers can manage their accounts, perform administrative actions such as making a payment, suspending or acquiring services, or changing the plan of one of the services that they already possess.

These sites open up a wide range of opportunities for MSOs to carry out retention and upselling campaigns, thus significantly reducing costs by decreasing the amount of agents they need to launch such campaigns. In addition, the majority of their customers are already using electronic means to manage and pay for services, which means that they rely on electronic means for actions of this kind and have access to devices that allow them to quickly access these campaigns at all times.

However, developing these sites is expensive. What is the return on investment of generating a microsite? The ROI is very simple to calculate. Let us think for a moment about this example: in normal sales cycles, customers receive calls offering them new packages and services (for example: HBO). Usually, this service is outsourced and these agents charge commissions for each customer who purchased the service that is offered. This means that the MSO’s real income is generated starting during the 2nd or 3rd month of use, due to the cost of the agent.

By using a self-management site that includes an upselling functionality, it is possible to save paying an agent, so MSOs get 100% of the revenue from the sale starting the first month. By knowing the effectiveness of our promotions and by assuming that this behavior will continue in the same way, we can estimate when MSOs will have a return on investment. In addition to this, there are many companies that offer to develop these sites in exchange for a sales commission. This is similar to the commission agents charge (usually less), but it allows MSOs to have a tool where they can include new services such as those mentioned before, self-management and troubleshooting. This type of business model allows MSOs to use this type of site without investing in development.

What else can I include in this site?

The self-management and upselling site can include a troubleshooting section or FAQ where customers will have guides to perform initial troubleshooting before having problems with the service, without having to interact with call center representatives. Imagine for a moment that of 100 customers who call the call center to complain about a problem with the data service, 20% decide to run the steps mentioned in the microsite and 50% of those customers solve the problem without interacting with the call center.

This gives us as a result, just by generating this microsite with simple troubleshooting steps, a decrease of 10 % in incoming calls to the call center regarding complaints about the service. This generates significant savings in customer relations.


Being aligned with customers’ demands is vital. Nowadays, many customers prefer to self-manage services and products, thus avoiding telephone communication with call center representatives. The interesting thing is that this demand can be aligned with a cost reduction strategy. One way to do this is to develop a website that allows customers to self-manage services and products, and that includes upselling and basic troubleshooting.

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