Another 300 Telstra jobs gone to improve customer service

Another 300 Telstra jobs gone

Another 300 Telstra jobs gone with claims it will “improve customer service”

Editors note: As an existing Telstra customer I’ve had my fair share of frustrations over the years when having to deal with their customer service teams.

Whilst the intent to provide a good customer experience is evident, the execution of that strategy often leaves a lot to be desired.

A large part of my personal frustrations is the inability to find anyone with the right authority/delegation to actually fix anything.

“Sorry I don’t have access to that system”, repeated “can I just confirm your details” requests and my personal favourite “can I please have your account number” even after I’ve entered into the IVR seem to be fairly consistent frustrations shared by many.

The article below that was published in The Australian suggests that according to a ‘Telstra spokesperson’ the cuts are designed to streamline their back-end operations and “reduce the number of layers” between it and its customers which may go some way to improving things.

Personally, it sounds like a cover to send more jobs offshore like the thousands of Telstra call centre jobs that have already been sent offshore to the Philippines and that trend doesn’t look like changing anytime soon.

I guess time will tell.

Update 2020: Well, time did tell. With the arrival of COVID and a reduction in call volumes due to digitalisation, Telstra has now announced their intent to withdraw ALL offshore call centre jobs and only answer incoming calls from Australia. You can read more about the changing trend of call centres coming back to Australia here >

Telstra to cut around 300 call centre jobs

Telstra looks set to offload up to 300 jobs from its retail business in a move the incumbent telco says will help sharpen up its customer service proposition.

The latest cuts to Telstra’s workforce come as it looks to consolidate the back office teams that support the telco’s frontline staff.

The cuts will predominantly focus on middle management, with no customer-facing or call centre jobs under threat.

The final number of cuts will be determined after a three-week consultation period.

According to Telstra, the changes are part of its ongoing efforts to streamline its back-end operations and “reduce the numbers of layers” between it and its customers.

“The proposed changes are necessary for us to become a more customer experience-led organisation,” A Telstra spokesman said.

“The proposal will mean some roles will no longer be required, but new roles will be created. There will be a net reduction of approximately 300 occupied roles.

“We know this is not easy for the people affected and we will be doing all we can to help them during this time, including making available redundancy entitlements,” the spokesman said.

The move is the latest in a series of cuts made by the telco in recent months as it repositions itself as a technology company. Telstra took an axe to its contact centre and Telstra Business units in July, with 326 roles cut from its Perth and Melbourne customer service centres.

Meanwhile, the telco has also trimmed its ranks in the Networks Delivery division, with 120 jobs lost there, and is currently looking to shed some 53 positions in the Wideband Design team.

The one area where Telstra is beefing up its workforce is on the field, especially as it looks to tackle the increasing workload related to the National Broadband Network and cut install and repair times.

Earlier this month, the telco giant announced plans to add one thousand extra communications technicians to its workforce over the next six months.

The technicians will work on a mix of Telstra’s traditional copper and HFC cable networks as well as ADSL installation and repairs, and NBN activations.

According to Telstra, the new employees will complete up to 17 weeks of training. It would see 503 roles in NSW and the ACT, 151 in Queensland, 110 in Victoria and Tasmania, 94 in South Australia and 43 in Western Australia begin by Christmas.

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