Executive summary

In a mature, largely saturated market, communications providers can no longer rely on customer acquisition to drive revenue growth

As enterprises look to nurture loyalty and improve retention, customer service is fast becoming a key differentiator.

Both consumers and businesses are increasingly making purchase decisions based on information from their peers rather than marketing messages from communications providers. Crucially, customers are more likely to recommend providers that consistently deliver a personalized service.

How can communications providers understand individual customer needs, and transform neutral consumers into passionate advocates?

“Our IBM and Salesforce solutions help us to deliver tailored, responsive services that are a key enabler in transforming how we sell to and serve our clients—an invaluable source of advantage in a competitive industry.”

Brad Pruner
Director—CRM, at TELUS


TELUS, a leading communications provider in Canada, decided to tackle this challenge head-on by making high-quality customer experiences its number one corporate priority

Brad Pruner, Director—CRM, at TELUS, explains: “We see the contact center as an essential part of the customer experience. Our aim is to ensure that every customer journey—from placing an order for the first time to calling to ask for help with a product—is fast and seamless.

In the past, TELUS relied on multiple systems to manage contact center processes—making it difficult for team members to quickly identify and act on individual customer requirements. To drive higher satisfaction and encourage advocacy, Idea wanted to offer support teams a complete view of the customer, including their previous interactions across all our channels, open orders, and support tickets.

“Achieving our goal meant integrating our processes for quoting, ordering, billing and aftercare. With more than 100 separate back-end systems, we realized that the new way of working would require a major transformation, and we looked for an experienced partner to help reduce the cost, complexity and risk of the project.”

Brad Pruner

Director—CRM, at TELUS


After considering proposals from a number of vendors, TELUS engaged expert consultants from IBM Global Business Services to help deliver a fresh approach to its contact center processes

After a thorough evaluation of its business requirements, TELUS decided to integrate its ordering process from end to end, supported by IBM® Sterling Commerce® and Salesforce solutions.

Working together, the IBM and TELUS teams integrated data from multiple back-end systems with the Salesforce customer relationship management solution. The new Salesforce interface enables the contact center to access the information they need to satisfy the majority of in-bound customer requests without time-consuming switching between applications.

"TELUS and IBM have a long history of collaboration, so we knew first-hand that IBM had both a deep knowledge of the communications industry and a familiarity with the unique structure of our business,” says Brad Pruner. “As the first step, the IBM team worked with us to map our existing support processes and plan the changes required to achieve the transformation. Our work with IBM gave us confidence that we were heading in the right direction, and helped us to build a concrete plan for the new solution.”

Brad Pruner
Director—CRM, at TELUS

How it works

To deliver personalized services, TELUS integrates data on customer account information from the Salesforce platform with product options from IBM Sterling Configure, Price, Quote software

Using pre-configured rules, the IBM Sterling solution determines the most relevant offerings for each customer at the best price, and displays them in Salesforce. This insight empowers contact center teams to suggest tailored packages of products, promotions, and services without disrupting the customer journey—creating valuable up-selling and cross-selling opportunities.

TELUS has now begun integrating its end-to-end order life cycle. By standardizing on a single order management framework, TELUS will reduce the risk of human error during the order capture process and ensure that more orders are completed correctly the first time around. In the event of an issue with a customer order, the centralized platform will offer a robust process for managing customer requests, support tickets, and escalations—enabling TELUS to resolve issues rapidly.

“Throughout our complex transformation, the IBM team was always on hand to provide support and guidance. In addition to remediating technical issues when they arose, the IBM team offered valuable knowledge transfer to help our contact center team to hit the ground running with the new solutions.”

Brad Pruner
Director—CRM, at TELUS


Today, TELUS is achieving its goal of delivering seamless, high-quality services from the contact center

The company has simplified both the agent and client experience, retiring 18 systems from front-office use.

By integrating processes with the IBM and Salesforce solutions, TELUS has reduced the amount of time its team members need to deliver an outstanding service to customers.

Rather than manually entering order data across multiple separate systems, information only needs to be input once. And because we have built a standardized process for order capture, the risk of erroneous data entering the system has been reduced—ensuring that more orders are processed correctly the first time around and reducing the average number of calls per customer by 19 percent.

This solution has also helped TELUS to obtain a single view of every customer, enabling it to deliver the kinds of personalized services that drive revenues and nurture loyalty.

The IBM and Salesforce solutions helped contact center teams to rapidly assimilate the information they need to sell to or serve their client. Because the data agents see has been simplified, they are free to spend valuable time with their client, understanding their issues and their business. The result is a both a better client experience and an increase in the volume of integrated solutions sold.

The crucial test of this new approach is how likely TELUS customers are to recommend services to one of their peers. Since rolling out the IBM and Salesforce solutions, TELUS has increased likelihood to recommend by 10 percent.

Solution Components

  • IBM® Sterling Configure, Price, Quote


  • IBM Global Business Services®

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