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Case study

Transforming a telecommunications giant

One of Asia-Pacific’s largest telecommunications companies faced rapidly declining profits and defecting customers as intense competition and digital media innovations redefined the industry landscape. Bain helped TelecomCo design and implement a sweeping transformation plan that has repositioned the company as a nimble market leader with a bold, multichannel strategy for sustained growth.

  • min read

At a Glance

  • 15% decline in costs over three years
  • 70% increase in field force performance

The Full Story

The Situation

With traditional profit centers under attack and an uncertain regulatory environment, TelecomCo's* new leadership team needed a comprehensive turnaround strategy that would address the complex issues eroding growth—and its market leadership.

The challenges required overcoming major hurdles. They included aligning growth strategies across its wide-ranging channels and media properties: wired and mobile phones, data services, broadband, cable TV and online content; upgrading and transitioning customers to improved broadband network and IT platforms; and creating more efficient and effective business processes to support change and capture growth opportunities.

Also important: For change to succeed, TelecomCo needed to win buy in from its employees, including unionized workers. Past change efforts by the company had failed to take root but this time success was imperative.

Our Approach

Working closely with the CEO, our team helped identify opportunities for improvement that would deliver both quick wins and multi-year programs for corporate-wide change.

Align channels to customer needs. Our analysis showed that TelecomCo could provide better customer support at its call centers with streamlined processes and better training; improve the customer experience by redesigning its retail stores; work to ensure dealers promote high value products and services; and use customer segmentation to help the sales team better understand customer needs.

Boost workforce performance. By conducting a workforce segmentation analysis, we found that the company could improve performance, especially among its field workers, by creating flexible incentives and programs.

Define a media strategy. We conducted media market diagnostic, resulting in a market overview that pinpointed immediate and long-term opportunities, with a focus on unlocking the huge potential of digital media. To provide success models, we also developed an extensive database of national and global case studies.

Our Recommendations

We recommended that the CEO and senior executives implement a series of short and long-term initiatives enabling TelecomCo to achieve its goals of strong, sustained revenue growth. 

To transform the company into a more innovative competitor, TelecomCo's turnaround plan needed to include the following steps:
  • Win back and retain customers with improved retail store layouts and interactive product displays; more responsive—and cost effective—call center support; tiered pricing based on customer segments.
  • Upgrade wireless networks to provide customers with superior service; revitalize its wired channel with customer incentives such as offering bundled channel packages.
  • Pursue digital media opportunities as a growth engine; speed innovation and collaboration by reducing management, organizational and financial complexity.
  • Focus sales around targeted customers; align sales, delivery, pricing and products around services growth.
  • Motivate field workers by introducing different pay incentive plans and schedules to meet specific employee needs.

The Results

The multi-year transformation plan we helped TelecomCo to craft delivered the targeted results.

Overall, retail revenue increased from less than 1% to 3%–4% annually. Its market share also grew in major product categories.

Redesigned business processes significantly enhanced customer service, with costs declining 15% over three years.

Field force performance was up by over 70%.

With improved account planning, the salesforce grew major accounts to full potential. A clear media roadmap helped to promote organic and inorganic expansion opportunities.

And finally, TelecomCo now has the performance metrics in place to track progress, ensuring profitable growth.

* We take our clients' confidentiality seriously. While we've changed their names, the results are real.

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