Client Stories

Assessing and Improving Relationships with Top Accounts

A major telecommunications company receives ISG’s help evaluating its best accounts, resulting in concrete improvement recommendations, movement toward contract renewals and a decade-long “health check” program.



A large telecommunications company was seeing mixed results in its relationships with top clients. So, it brought in ISG to assess seven of its best accounts, with the goal of improving, retaining and growing those strategic partnerships. A wide range of industries were involved, from banking and mining to logistics and gaming.

While the telecommunications giant had already been using net promoter scores (NPS) to evaluate client satisfaction, that wasn’t enough to help identify the levers for relationship improvement. Therefore, ISG introduced a service provider program to evaluate the client/provider relationships on a regular basis. Research, two-way feedback and more detailed relationship metrics would help determine initiatives for improvement. The focus would be on understanding the clients’ businesses, working together as true partners, and generating future value and growth in a positive environment.

Imagining IT Differently

Imagining IT Differently

The ISG team worked to gather both quantitative and qualitative information from the telecom company and its major clients. The cornerstone of the program was the ISG Relationship Framework, a transparent mechanism that maps the relationship’s current position and progress over time, helping both sides better understand their roles in optimizing the relationship’s business value. Two focal points are operational excellence and trust.

ISG performed a deep analysis to deliver a comprehensive report that showed where each of the top accounts fell on the relationship spectrum. We identified improvement opportunities, providing ways to build on operational excellence and then potentially drive revenue growth through expanded service offerings. The program was ultimately so successful that it was expanded over the course of about a decade. ISG did checks annually or biannually, depending on the account. ISG representatives were even invited to present at various client town halls and to run successful workshops with larger clients.


Future Made Possible

  • The provider demonstrated to its top clients a willingness to take a closer look at the relationships that are so highly valued.
  • Both the clients and provider were able to better understand the current states of their relationships, including strengths, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement and growth.
  • The provider’s Net Promoter Score rose at several top accounts after making the recommended adjustments:
    • A 62-point jump (from -22 to +40) on one account over three years
    • A 37-point jump (from -34 to +3) on another account over just one year
  • Several troubled accounts were improved, contracts renewed and additional business garnered as a result.
  • The provider became one of the highest-performing vendors in the marketplace, and ISG continued its assessment work on this program for about a decade.