The impact of self-service on call centres
In a recent interview with Vodafone Hutchinson’s Australian chief executive officer, Inaki Berroeta revealed that slashing customer complaint levels, preparing for fixed-lined broadband products and gearing up for the next generation of 5G mobile services will be top priorities for the year ahead.
Coming up to his second anniversary as Vodafone chief, there is no doubt that the focus on restoring customer confidence is starting to pay dividends with the company finishing the year with 3.5 complaints to the TIO (Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman) per 10,000 customers.
Given Vodafone’s complaints per 10,000 customers was at 12.2 just over in July-September 2014 demonstrates the stunning turnaround in 18 months. For the record, in the last official TIO report Optus had the highest rate with 6.7 followed by Telstra at 5.5.
Investments in Vodafone’s infrastructure have no doubt assisted in reducing customer complaints but it would appear there are two other significant contributors to the improvement.
The first was the decision to invest in an on-shore customer experience and in March 2015 Vodafone officially launched their brand new contact centre in Hobart’s central business district. The office is the telcos flagship Australian contact centre and will be home to more than 1000 workers.
Vodafone customer care general manager Matt Paterson said the space was modelled off a Vodafone contact centre in Newbury, England. It features a games area with ping pong tables, Xbox and Wii game consoles, and basketball hoops and instead of taking the stairs down to the next level, employees can jump down one of the spiral tube slides.
If you would like to see a video walkthrough of the centre you can view the original article as appearing in The Mercury here.
The second is Vodafone’s continued investment in self help. Around 50 per cent of Vodafone Australia subscribers use the MyVodafone app to help themselves with the company aiming to boost this to more than 70 per cent over the next 12 months.
This will help reduce costs, allow the telco to redirect call centre staff to other tasks and boost satisfaction levels because customers generally prefer to avoid phoning in with problems.
So whilst this will be good for customers, will it be good for call centre jobs? Only time will tell.