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  Reply # 156085 11-Aug-2008 22:05
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I think a better analogy is a bank. Imagine going into a bank to ask a question about your account and being told that you have to toss a gold coin in a pot before they'll speak to you ... or even going into a Vodafone shop having to toss a gold coin in a pot before speaking to someone. That would soon drive away customers. 

Or going with the New World analogy, this is like taking that dodgy salad back to the Customer Service desk and having to toss a dollar in the pot before they'll even look at it to consider if they will give a refund. 

We're talking about customer service, which doesn't equate to a checkout chick, so the original New World analogy doesn't quite work. 



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  Reply # 156104 11-Aug-2008 23:00
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Perhaps this is better as an analogy:

Good morning, Sir. Welcome to The InterMarriototel, Sydney.

Good morning. I have a reservation and would like to check in please.

Certainly. That will be $1 if you wish to proceed with the check in process. Shall I add it to your bill?

Later...

Hello, room service? I'd like to order some food.

Yes sir - I can help you, but it will cost you $1 before we can proceed.


I think the simple fact is that it matters not one iota to most customers whether VF's staff have 100 callers each or 1000 callers each - it just means VF need more staff, not that they should charge us to speak to them....!! If that means a 1 cent per minute increase in call charges, then so be it.

As the saying goes, "Perception Is Reality"!





 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 156114 11-Aug-2008 23:34
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The banks do this the same way - want to make a branch withdraw, transfer or deposit, sure but its much more cost effective to use internet banking, an ATM, or phone banking. By encouraging 'self service' they reduce the demands on their staff and branches.

Airliners do this by charging a 'phone' or 'store' fee (Air NZ does $50 from memory) if you buy through those channels rather than the internet.

Pak'n'sav provides shopping bags - at a cost. You are free to use their trolleys to unload your wares into your car, or bring your own bags. By doing this, less people buy plastic shopping bags from pak'n'sav, thus reducing rubbish and the requirements for high stock levels.

There are examples out there.

Vodafone provides self service tools for prepaid. If you have a fault or the tools don't work - fair enough, but for the proposes of reducing calls they introduce a fee to encourage self service tools rather than keeping representatives busy.




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  Reply # 156115 11-Aug-2008 23:44
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Fortunately my bank does not - otherwise I would have to move!

The point surely is that the staff and branches exist to serve the customers not the bank. If the customers wish to make demands on them, they ought to be free to do so - no customers = no bank!

This new business idea of making customers do the work to save the firm money seems very odd to me - but then I suppose I am a bit eccentric in that respect. 





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  Reply # 156116 11-Aug-2008 23:44
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how about this, you get to the hotel, check into your room and find that there is no bed, the tv doesnt work and the bathroom has no paper in it. You call the front desk, but $1 is added to your bill before they even pick up. You wait for 10 mins for an answer and give up deciding to just leave it for today since you have a meeting to go to.
 

You get back to find a bed has appeared, but its faulty, so you call again, to get charged another $1 and still get no answer till you have to call someone else. So you give up and email them, but they dont answer it, so you ended up paying $2 for no help, have not had your problems sorted and it seems the only way to get something to happen is to post on a forum and have someone in authority at the hotel to direct the otherwise not very proactive staff to sort the (*&)()( problem out.




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  Reply # 156139 12-Aug-2008 06:55
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PaulBrislen:
That's what the call centre's been like. We get millions of calls a month and of those, 95% are legitimate, but the remaining 5% are customers asking questions that they simply don't need a customer rep to answer. If we eliminate, or radically reduce, those 5% we will free up a significant number of call centre reps and their time. Time that's better spent answering questions that you can't find through other means, questions that need to be answered by a person.

The price, one dollar per call, is purely and simply there to be a barrier to stop the pointless calls. It's not a money-making scheme - the call centre rep's time is worth more than that per minute and typically calls last a lot longer than 60 seconds.


Cheers

Paul


Hold up..... This means that you are penalising the 95% legitimate callers because of the actions of 5%. The math doesnt add up here. The 5% who ring up and ask simple questions are surely only spending a few sec with a rep which can be a frustration but in reality it is the 95% that do ring legitimately that take up the bulk of a reps time as they would have more complex issues needing resolution.

If this is the case then charging $1 to prevent 5%'time wasters' calling would have very minimal impact. I would guess by the numbers you have quoted here that instead of people waiting 30min they will end up waiting 20min, and for that privilige you charge $1?

Maybe another reason why people are on hold longer is because of the language barrier. Has anyone ever given thought to what happens when a 2nd language user speaks to another 2nd language user about a complex issue in a 3rd language? NZ is a mulitcultural society so I am assuming this must occur quite a bit. 




Gravity is a myth.....The Earth Sucks!

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  Reply # 156141 12-Aug-2008 06:57

riahon:
PaulBrislen:
That's what the call centre's been like. We get millions of calls a month and of those, 95% are legitimate, but the remaining 5% are customers asking questions that they simply don't need a customer rep to answer. If we eliminate, or radically reduce, those 5% we will free up a significant number of call centre reps and their time. Time that's better spent answering questions that you can't find through other means, questions that need to be answered by a person.

The price, one dollar per call, is purely and simply there to be a barrier to stop the pointless calls. It's not a money-making scheme - the call centre rep's time is worth more than that per minute and typically calls last a lot longer than 60 seconds.


Cheers

Paul


Hold up..... This means that you are penalising the 95% legitimate callers because of the actions of 5%. The math doesnt add up here. The 5% who ring up and ask simple questions are surely only spending a few sec with a rep which can be a frustration but in reality it is the 95% that do ring legitimately that take up the bulk of a reps time as they would have more complex issues needing resolution.

If this is the case then charging $1 to prevent 5%'time wasters' calling would have very minimal impact. I would guess by the numbers you have quoted here that instead of people waiting 30min they will end up waiting 20min, and for that privilige you charge $1?

Maybe another reason why people are on hold longer is because of the language barrier. Has anyone ever given thought to what happens when a 2nd language user speaks to another 2nd language user about a complex issue in a 3rd language? NZ is a mulitcultural society so I am assuming this must occur quite a bit. 


The 5% do not spend "a few sec" each... they spend as long as they possibly can in some instances. Wait times are down from up to 40 minutes to a more manageable four or five minutes at peak times. Surely that's a good thing, right?




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http://forum.vodafone.co.nz


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  Reply # 156165 12-Aug-2008 08:36
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PaulBrislen: The 5% do not spend "a few sec" each... they spend as long as they possibly can in some instances. Wait times are down from up to 40 minutes to a more manageable four or five minutes at peak times. Surely that's a good thing, right?

It sounds great, but you'd honestly have us believe that 5% of people are using 90% of your reps time?  And that that 5% could have used your self-service options to help themselves (I'm being generous, assuming you've completely eliminated the 5% of time-wasters you mentioned).  Are they just ringing up for a chat?!

I don't have any problem with being charged $1 to sort something I could've sorted myself (that's comparable to withdrawing money at the branch when I could've used the ATM) but if I'm reporting a fault or something on your end is broken then that's not on, and your CSRs should be more forthcoming in refunding the $1.

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  Reply # 156194 12-Aug-2008 09:42
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PaulBrislen:
riahon:
PaulBrislen:
That's what the call centre's been like. We get millions of calls a month and of those, 95% are legitimate, but the remaining 5% are customers asking questions that they simply don't need a customer rep to answer. If we eliminate, or radically reduce, those 5% we will free up a significant number of call centre reps and their time. Time that's better spent answering questions that you can't find through other means, questions that need to be answered by a person.

The price, one dollar per call, is purely and simply there to be a barrier to stop the pointless calls. It's not a money-making scheme - the call centre rep's time is worth more than that per minute and typically calls last a lot longer than 60 seconds.


Cheers

Paul


Hold up..... This means that you are penalising the 95% legitimate callers because of the actions of 5%. The math doesnt add up here. The 5% who ring up and ask simple questions are surely only spending a few sec with a rep which can be a frustration but in reality it is the 95% that do ring legitimately that take up the bulk of a reps time as they would have more complex issues needing resolution.

If this is the case then charging $1 to prevent 5%'time wasters' calling would have very minimal impact. I would guess by the numbers you have quoted here that instead of people waiting 30min they will end up waiting 20min, and for that privilige you charge $1?

Maybe another reason why people are on hold longer is because of the language barrier. Has anyone ever given thought to what happens when a 2nd language user speaks to another 2nd language user about a complex issue in a 3rd language? NZ is a mulitcultural society so I am assuming this must occur quite a bit. 


The 5% do not spend "a few sec" each... they spend as long as they possibly can in some instances. Wait times are down from up to 40 minutes to a more manageable four or five minutes at peak times. Surely that's a good thing, right?

Then why not simply disconnect the 5% and refuse service to them rather than penalise everyone else?!





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  Reply # 156196 12-Aug-2008 09:44
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The $1 charge intoduction was handled badly I think. If new plans with 'unlimited customer support' and others with '$1' per call introduced then the customer would have the intial choice - just like with banks. It works out the same in the end but customers tend to get less angry when you show them the upfront cost and don't change the rules half way through.

I can say that wait times have VASTLY decreased but I believe a large portion of these calls are from legitimate issues.

Incidentally, what is being done to stop time wasters on account? I might not be prepay but I'd sure like to wait less time when querying an issue Laughing

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  Reply # 156198 12-Aug-2008 09:53

bazzer:
PaulBrislen: The 5% do not spend "a few sec" each... they spend as long as they possibly can in some instances. Wait times are down from up to 40 minutes to a more manageable four or five minutes at peak times. Surely that's a good thing, right?

It sounds great, but you'd honestly have us believe that 5% of people are using 90% of your reps time?  And that that 5% could have used your self-service options to help themselves (I'm being generous, assuming you've completely eliminated the 5% of time-wasters you mentioned).  Are they just ringing up for a chat?!

I don't have any problem with being charged $1 to sort something I could've sorted myself (that's comparable to withdrawing money at the branch when I could've used the ATM) but if I'm reporting a fault or something on your end is broken then that's not on, and your CSRs should be more forthcoming in refunding the $1.


And if you call up and tell the CSR you tried to sort it out via self service but couldn't (for whatever reason) and they can verify that, you'll have the $1 charge refunded. But you have to tell them you've tried to use self service.

And yes, I am telling you that 5% of customers are wasting a huge proportion of the CSRs' time. Are they ringing up for a chat? In some instances they are. Or rather, they were... today, wait times are dramatically lower and that's a good thing for those people that do need to get through to a call centre rep.

Wait times are down. New Right First Time process is in place (or getting there) and you can read all about that here.

We've also introduced the Vodafone Forum (and so far there's only been one nutter! OK, maybe two.) And we have other moves still to come.
This is all about getting the customers the best help we can so they can get on with their day instead of being stuck waiting listening to hold music.

Cheers

Paul




Paul Brislen
Head of Corporate Communications
Vodafone

http://forum.vodafone.co.nz


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  Reply # 156213 12-Aug-2008 10:38
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PaulBrislen:

That's why we're pushing self service. Most of our customers are quite happy using self service through the website, through the voice prompts and now through the Forum as well. And when you do need a customer rep, you'll get through in less than 45 minutes and the rep will be able to spend the time to get it right first time (our new metric - no more average call handling time but rather a qualitative measure based on getting the problem solved in one call).


Paul, then ensure the online and IVR services actually WORK!!! At present they seem to be down more than they are up.. It was screwy again last night, Friend called me and got cut off, then was unable to check her PP balance to see if that was the reason, generating a call into the contact centre..

This could have been done so much better, they could have added call summary screens to prepay MYA and made a portal for Vodafone live to see the call details and manage other services too, Instead it's been a headache of stuff that just breaks and adds no extra value or even just a consolation..

Still get the "overloaded message" every second time I call Vodafone,,, bad.
Reason for calling? CLID 0197 code is malfuntioning in the network, passing the CLID through (!!!!!) when I dial externally to 027 or PSTN, and just failing to connect the call to the switch when dialled in front of an 0800. Not good.

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  Reply # 156219 12-Aug-2008 10:49

I'm with you on that - a portal on Live is in the works, and making sure the self service tools work as they're supposed to is vital. We're spending several million dollars this year making sure customers can help themselves and don't need to speak to a person to get something simple done. And then there's integrating the fixed line support team into the wider Vodafone support business unit.

It's a work in progress, however, so there will issues. But we're working on it.

Cheers

Paul




Paul Brislen
Head of Corporate Communications
Vodafone

http://forum.vodafone.co.nz




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Master Geek


  Reply # 156238 12-Aug-2008 11:41
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This is the message I sent to Vodafone through their feedback system:

Hi,

This relates to number 021 xxxx xxxx. 

I made several attempts to add a best mate to this number using the 756 TXT service and the online web portal. However, I was told that the number I was trying to add is 'invalid'. I rang 777 and reluctantly paid the $1 to speak to a CSR. I was told that the best mates system was down for maintenance and to try again later. As this was due to a fault at your end, I asked for a refund of the $1. He told me that he could not do that. I said I wasn't happy to pay to report a fault but he said there was nothing he could do to refund the $1. 

The amount of money is small but I object in principle to being charged to report a fault with your system and request a refund of $1.

Rob Scovell


This is the response:

Dear Rob

Thank you for your email.

We are extremely grateful that you have taken the time to contact us with this feedback. This will be channelled to the appropriate department, please keep in mind that they may not be able to contact you directly.

I am sorry to hear that you are disappointed with the decision to implement a $1.00 service fee for Prepay contacts to customer service; this fee is really designed to reduce contact that can be actioned by customers through other self service channels such as the internet.

This in turn will reduce the wait times for any customers who need assistance for anything that cannot be actioned online such as problems with their mobile or issues with a particular service.

Unfortunately with the current labour market as it is in New Zealand it is not possible to simply increase staffing numbers to address increased demand for customer services and the introduction of a service fee will hopefully improve service across the board for all customers.

Please see the details below for the self service options that are available to you as a customer and once again thank you for your feedback.

Although there will be a service fee to speak to a customer services representative, remember we offer a wide range of self service options to manage your mobile via 777 and online with My Vodafone.

By calling 777, you can use our self service options to check your mobile balance, review your TXT2000 balance, top-up your mobile via Credit Card, purchase, cancel and change your Add-Ons as well as hear about the latest Vodafone promotions and offers all at the touch of a button. 

My Vodafone is another great way to manage your mobile service online. With My Vodafone you can access all of your mobile information - you can top-up online, check your mobile balance, manage your Add-Ons, view your PUK code, plus much, much more - so check it out! Visit vodafone.co.nz/myvodafone

If you have any further questions please reply to this email, call our Customer Contact Centre on 777 from your Vodafone mobile, or 0800 800 021 from any other phone. From overseas you can contact us on + 64 9 355 2007.


If the person who sent this standard reply had read my message, he would have seen that the standard reply is not relevant to what I said:

1. It tells me to use 'My Vodafone' -- the point of my message being that 'My Vodafone' wasn't working when I tried to add the best mates number
2. It suggests I could call them back on 777, and pay another $1.

If Vodafone now has a 'Right First Time' then why does my message get sent to 'the appropriate department' and I get sent an inappropriate response. Why don't I get an appropriate respone 'First Time'?

I am wasting a lot of time on this but there is a principle at stake here -- being charged for essentially reporting a fault. 

Rob



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Master Geek


  Reply # 156242 12-Aug-2008 11:46
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PaulBrislen: I'm with you on that - a portal on Live is in the works, and making sure the self service tools work as they're supposed to is vital. We're spending several million dollars this year making sure customers can help themselves and don't need to speak to a person to get something simple done. And then there's integrating the fixed line support team into the wider Vodafone support business unit.

It's a work in progress, however, so there will issues. But we're working on it.

Cheers

Paul

It seems like the self-service tools are a 'work in progress', let's call it 'beta' shall we? I'm happy to use beta stuff if it's Open Source software but not happy for an important service like my mobile phone service to be running at beta level. 

It seems as though the self-service tools have been rolled out before they are ready. 

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