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BDFL - Memuneh
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Topic # 161743 18-Jan-2015 13:34
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Got word that a certain telco is working on very deep customer services changes. Some... interesting... changes. I am not sure these will improve current levels of customer service but will save money. So there's that going for them.



UPDATE 1:

I have contacted said telco about this document and received the following reply:


[Telco] is in the process of consulting on a number of changes with our customer care team, as we look to complete the wider organisational change programme we announced in November last year.

We will be implementing a number of initiatives aimed at achieving faster call answering times and a quicker first-call resolution for our customers. These include; further investment in removing systems and process duplication (particularly for fixed line services); continuing to improve self-service functionality with the [telco] app and on our online site; creating new roles [New Zealand location]; providing a better work environment through a more stable work roster; and leveraging our existing capability at our [offshore] service centre to complete simple transactional tasks (top-ups, account balance enquiries, etc).

This is a draft proposal at this stage, and is subject consultation with our teams. Our top priority is to support our people through this change.


I have to say a public thanks for getting this response so quickly and quite frankly, open.

The document I've seen is just one piece of the puzzle. It suggests changes in the contact centre in terms of headcount (mostly going down), redistribution of transaction types and changes in roster scheduling.

The document put emphasis on increased use of data via high speed networks (no distinction between mobile or fixed line). It also mentions that (gasp) customers expect to get more data for the same spend.

This leads, the author says, to revenue declining over a certain period of time with at last revenue falling short of expectations. The document outlines changes to reduce cost of serving customers contacting the company.

There are some good suggestions there. For example for fixed it suggests current call handling around 20 minutes average and a "expertise limit" at 1.5 - 2 hours, after which calls would be escalated. CSRs would "own" the call. CSRs should escalate calls if customer has repeat unsolved calls (good luck with that, seeing many of the comments I've heard is that customers calling back hear the "I don't have a record of you calling before").

The 55-page document does mention that changes in the customer services team will allow for better roster scheduling, with team leaders available at times similar to their team. (What do they have now? Teams with no leaders at some times?)

Why did I start this topic then? Because, even though companies have a duty to operate in a way to maximise return of investment to its shareholders, it's interesting that the emphasis on saving money seems much stronger than in actually improving customers care. The first is the driver for the change, the other is a consequence. 

I won't post the document because it contains names and specific numbers that I don't think should be disclosed.

UPDATE 2:

The document proposes an extreme reduction of customer services position, hence my original comment that it would save them money but at what impact to customers trying to reach solutions to their problems?

We already know Vodafone customers experience an extremely high call hold time as it is now.

Some of the ideas in the document make sense, and we all know that throwing more people into a problem doesn't help solve it faster, but I am not sure this applies to what seems to be a queueing problem with bad support from their systems. And this is not discussed in the document.

I will not post exact numbers and where because that would probably cause too much distress in certain teams.

I feel for Vodafone customers...




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  Reply # 1216927 18-Jan-2015 13:52
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Could this be the making of New Zealands own Comcast?



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  Reply # 1216929 18-Jan-2015 13:53
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  Reply # 1216930 18-Jan-2015 13:56
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can't be for VF as you can't actually get to talk to a person, you either end up on hold for hours on end or getting transferred between departments because no one is trained to handle any problems ;) 

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  Reply # 1216931 18-Jan-2015 13:56
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Andib: Could this be the making of New Zealands own Comcast?


That sounds like a challenge in the making!

Remember, it takes professionals to screw things up quickly, effectively and will minimal disruption.... and I understand there are many professionals out there.....




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  Reply # 1216932 18-Jan-2015 13:56
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Andib: Could this be the making of New Zealands own Comcast?

Comcast cable. The worst call center in the world.




 


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  Reply # 1216938 18-Jan-2015 14:10
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gregmcc: can't be for VF as you can't actually get to talk to a person, you either end up on hold for hours on end or getting transferred between departments because no one is trained to handle any problems ;) 


Their Facebook page is just cringe-worthy.




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  Reply # 1216942 18-Jan-2015 14:27
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If whatever this is becomes a problem, its not hard to vote with your feet.

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  Reply # 1216947 18-Jan-2015 14:34
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It's hardly surprising given that none of the big ISPs make much money from consumer broadband services (see: http://www.geekzone.co.nz/content.asp?contentid=17128)

Geekzone readers would probably be happier paying a couple of dollars more each month for broadband knowing they'll get decent service when needed. The less technically-focused public would probably rather keep the cash. At least until they encounter really awful customer service. 

This leaves a great opportunity for an ISP to position itself as THE customer service brand. That sometimes happens in overseas markets. 




Bill Bennett www.billbennett.co.nz @billbennettnz


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  Reply # 1216948 18-Jan-2015 14:35
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eXDee: If whatever this is becomes a problem, its not hard to vote with your feet.


But I'm sure this would have been a deciding factor for alot of people who signed into contract for them now to have the complete reverse happen.

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  Reply # 1216977 18-Jan-2015 15:20
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If Vodafone want to decrease hold times all they need to do is fix their abortion of a billing system.

I've only been on Vodafone Cable for 3 months and every single month the bill has been wrong.

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  Reply # 1216982 18-Jan-2015 15:36
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billbennett: It's hardly surprising given that none of the big ISPs make much money from consumer broadband services (see: http://www.geekzone.co.nz/content.asp?contentid=17128)

Geekzone readers would probably be happier paying a couple of dollars more each month for broadband knowing they'll get decent service when needed. The less technically-focused public would probably rather keep the cash. At least until they encounter really awful customer service. 

This leaves a great opportunity for an ISP to position itself as THE customer service brand. That sometimes happens in overseas markets. 


Well they must have a pretty thick CEO if their primary core business doesn't make them money, a primary business principle is if you aren't any good at it, and not making money from it, stop doing it and do something that makes you money

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  Reply # 1216992 18-Jan-2015 16:03
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"primary core business"

Broadband isn't the primary core business for the three biggest ISPs. Whether it should be is another question entirely. 




Bill Bennett www.billbennett.co.nz @billbennettnz


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  Reply # 1216997 18-Jan-2015 16:12
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Isn't this just the ISP/Telco cycle:
-offer good propositions that folk want
-have better support (at time of offer) than competition
-business grows
-ISP crows
-customer support can't keep up with growth, proposition changes, billing etc
-much gnashing of teeth by customers, who look elsewhere
-company sees churn figures rise, blame other Telcos/ISPs and there own CSRs

Rinse and repeat.

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  Reply # 1217034 18-Jan-2015 17:57
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oxnsox:
-business grows
-ISP crows



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  Reply # 1217122 18-Jan-2015 20:48
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oxnsox: Isn't this just the ISP/Telco cycle:
-offer good propositions that folk want
-have better support (at time of offer) than competition
-business grows
-ISP crows
-customer support can't keep up with growth, proposition changes, billing etc
-much gnashing of teeth by customers, who look elsewhere
-company sees churn figures rise, blame other Telcos/ISPs and there own CSRs

Rinse and repeat.


Yes but some companies have a harder time than others at not realising when they've gotten to that second half part and how to get out of it.




Lannah - find me on twitter.


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