Eastlink Communications is a privately owned quad-play provider headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After merging their fixed-line and mobile business units, Eastlink needed a best-in-class retail strategy to manage growth through the new phase of their business. With plans for expansion, Eastlink sought Maplewave’s assistance to help develop their 3-5-year strategy.
Eastlink is a major provider of telecom products and services. Originating in Atlantic Canada, Eastlink is currently expanding to other parts of the country. It was founded in Amherst, Nova Scotia in 1971, when it was issued one of the first cable licences granted by the CRTC.
Through a series of acquisitions, which included the purchase of Amtelecom, Persona, Bluewater, Delta, and Coast Cable, Eastlink became the fifth-largest cable television provider in Canada in 2010, with approximately 1,500 employees working in offices across the country.
In 2010, it was the largest privately owned cable company in Canada, with subscribers in nine provinces (excluding Saskatchewan). As of 2017, Eastlink has 20 retail stores and plans to expand into many new markets and territories in the coming 18 months.
Eastlink remains privately held by the Bragg family of Oxford, Nova Scotia.
Eastlink has a small, but growing retail estate that has served the business very well for the past 10 years since wireless was introduced to the product portfolio. Given the recent merging of internal operations, Eastlink wanted an independent review of their retail capability to develop a new 3-5-year strategy for the business.
Some of the identified pain points were an overload of bill payments at peak times which increased wait times in stores, as well as opportunities in product range and merchandising control.
It was also determined that the stores failed to effectively use retail theatre to tell their product stories, especially for fixed-line products and services, which includes home automation and security.
Understanding the history and the culture of the business was critical to our recommendations. Eastlink is a local brand with a long history of success by being open and friendly. It was critical that customers still feel the stores were a central part of their community, while being mindful that some of their customer base would not be ready for a total move to digital practices.
While modernization is critical to their success over the coming years, it cannot be all-encompassing and at the expense of a well-built reputation of accessible customer service.
Maplewave’s Amplifier Consulting Process was exactly what Eastlink needed. Our VP of Sales & Marketing, Will Gibson, visited over 10 Eastlink stores over a period of 5-6 days in August 2017.
Will identified 10 pain points and 2 possible future threats to the success of Eastlink’s business. These were mapped to a list of 30 recommendations, which included 10 “quick win” projects, 9 cross-functional projects (medium term) and 5 strategic and directional goals. 5 additional projects related to IT and digital transformation were recommended.
Our recommendations were delivered in the form of a comprehensive post-visit report that was used by Eastlink to formalize their strategic goals for 2018. In only 10 days, Eastlink gained thorough insight into their current performance – benchmarked on a global scale – as well as a specific roadmap for improvement.
The 30 recommendations were prioritized based on ease of implementation, impact on the business, and cost to deploy. They were then slated for completion throughout the course of 2018. A key priority included a focus on store scheduling via footfall data, as well as offering customers the ability to make dedicated appointments in certain stores.
Struggling to see what’s coming next? Maplewave’s award-winning consultants know telco retail on a global basis, and our experience is invaluable in knowing what priorities to attack first. The results of such a fast, yet focused process is simply stunning! Contact Maplewave to see how we can transform you into an industry leader today!