Turning customer service into a competitive advantage


After acquiring two cable companies in southern Virginia and West Virginia, Shentel made a major investment to upgrade these markets with new, state-of-the-art fiber optics. Despite Shentel offering a better product than the competition, their marketing efforts were not producing new customer growth.

Research showed that consumers were very skeptical of cable companies. There had been a track record of companies entering their market with grand promises, only to exit very quickly.

Challenger Brand Solution

Brand Inside

Shentel had to create a deeper connection with the customer. So, we started with a new Brand Promise to be used in all of Shentel’s communications: “Always Connected to You.”

But first we needed to do some “Brand Inside” work to ensure that every interaction with a Shentel employee was an on-brand experience for the customer. An experience that would become a competitive advantage for Shentel.

The Brand Inside process involved the following:

  • Identifying employees throughout the organization to act as Brand Ambassadors.
  • Developing employee materials for the Brand Ambassadors to use to train their direct-report employees.
  • Conducting countless workshops to identify “triggers” (potential points of conflict) and “moments of truth” (opportunities to provide meaningful impressions with customers).
  • Conducting training sessions to educate on how to perform your job in an on-brand fashion, and how to convert detractors to brand cheerleaders.
  • Getting leadership buy-in. We took the learning from the Brand Ambassadors and made a formal presentation to Shentel’s executive team.


After educating and energizing Shentel’s employees, the enthusiasm spread like wildfire. We were welcomed into homes, and the results have been amazing:

  • Employees were excited and invigorated.
  • Net promoter score greatly increased.
  • Brand awareness soared by 12%.
  • Customer acquisitions exceeded goals.
  • Shentel was named to Forbes 2014 list of 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America – the only cable company to make this list.