Symend’s Science-Driven Solution Positively Engaged TELUS Customers During COVID-19

Using Symend’s leading science-driven engagement platform, TELUS increased digital customer interactions by 220% in 2020 between the middle of March and the end of June

Company Description
TELUS is a dynamic, world-leading communications and information technology company with $14.7 billion in annual revenue and 15.2 million customer connections spanning wireless, data, IP, voice, television, entertainment, video and security.

Industry Profile


When the global pandemic hit and put millions out of work, companies had to align their customer engagement strategies with a different way of doing business – drastically reducing or eliminating the transactional nature of customer relationships. For TELUS, keeping Canadians connected and informed became top priorities.

All companies were taken by surprise, and Canada’s leading enterprises were no exception. As uncertainty increased, call centre volumes skyrocketed across the country and customer service teams were unprepared. Delivering the right message at the right time was essential for companies trying to maintain customer service quality during this unprecedented time.

In the Canadian telecommunications market, competitive intensity is high, and churn is a leading risk factor that directly impacts customer service delivery. By choosing Symend’s science-based customer engagement solution, TELUS continued to deliver on its long-standing commitment to putting its customers first as a distinct leader in customer service excellence and loyalty.


Responding rapidly at scale

As customer uncertainty increased, so did call volumes. The pandemic caused enterprises to rapidly pivot and continuously iterate on their engagement strategies to remain sensitive to the changing circumstances and keep customers informed. As a Symend client, TELUS had a trusted partner to deliver on these outcomes while creating capacity within its customer service teams. Symend created a forward-thinking strategy shaped by behavioral science, which was executed rapidly through the platform. This ensured that customers were informed of short-term deferral periods while remaining aware of the long-term implications of allowing bills to pile up.


Keeping customers engaged

When emotions are running high, it is difficult to predict how customers will react to the messages they receive. With the COVID-19 crisis in mind, Symend’s behavioral scientists leveraged neuroscience, psychology and behavioral economics to determine how to deliver the right message at the right time to each customer segment.
Using a scientifically validated approach, Symend web-tested COVID-19 specific outreaches to understand the cognitive effect different tactics would have in both general and segmented communications. These tests identified that self-agency and empathy were the most effective behavioral approaches to keeping customers engaged.

Symend became a critical service for TELUS overnight as call volumes skyrocketed and customer uncertainty continued to rise. Having Symend as a trusted partner allowed us to continue to provide outstanding customer service and build stronger relationships with our customers at a time when they needed it most.

– Kim Vey, Director, Client Operations at TELUS

Improving customer service delivery

By encouraging digital interactions, efficiencies are created for both the service provider and the customer. To ensure TELUS customers remained informed, strategic, tested communications were sent via email and text message to encourage customers to proactively monitor and manage their accounts. By promoting digital interactions for simple inquiries and transactions, Symend significantly reduced inbound call volumes. This allowed TELUS to re-deploy the efforts of their customer service teams to provide outstanding customer support when it was needed most.


Providing a flexible solution at the right time

As long-term thinking became increasingly daunting due to the daily implications of the evolving pandemic, Symend helped refocus customers on the true value that telecommunications companies can provide right now – connection.

Symend developed a Flexible Payment Plan tool which was web-tested with over 600 Canadians and Americans to collect scientifically validated insights to ensure customer satisfaction and optimal delivery. Through the agile implementation of this tool, Symend generated significant value for TELUS by satisfying its customers’ immediate need for flexibility.

The result

During this Black Swan event, Symend’s software as a service (SaaS) solution provided TELUS with a trusted partner. Symend was able to free up capacity within TELUS’ over utilized customer service teams, while ensuring thousands of customers received an engaging, personalized experience that left them feeling connected to the brand. Using Symend’s scientifically validated approach, the click-to-open-rate for TELUS communications was 25.3%, nearly double pre-COVID levels. For TELUS, Symend reduced inbound agent interactions by 85% and increased digital interactions by 220% while easing customer anxiety around being disconnected during a time when connectivity was crucial.


reduced inbound agent interactions

increased digital interactions


reduced inbound agent interactions

increased digital interactions