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How telecom businesses like Telstra can improve service experience

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Joshua Burley
Joshua Burley is a prolific finance writer and ex-banker who has spent more than 10 years in the upper echelons of the industry. He writes extensively on issues relating to interest rates and their effect on the wider lending industry.

Telstra is one of the major telecommunications players in Australia and has Optus as its lead competitor. Despite its size and relative ubiquity, there are still many ways that the company can improve, particularly in regard to customer service.

Telstra has somewhat of a notorious reputation for using foreign call centres to handle customer service disputes. This has led to many frustrated Australians having nightmare customer service experiences.

One of the best things companies like Telstra can do is get rid of the script that customer service workers read to customers. Scripts can seem like a good idea because they ensure uniformity to the service delivered and can avoid liability issues, but they ultimately fail at delivering genuine customer service.

While guidelines are good, especially for new people, reading a script to an angry customer will only make them angrier. A pre-made script treats the customer like a number and not as a dynamic individual.

It’s better to have a smaller team of highly trained staff who can respond dynamically to issues rather than an army of people reading the same script. It’s also important to keep up to date with the evolving issues that customers have and not forget important details.

Customers hate it when they’ve spent time explaining a situation to one person only to have to explain it all over again to someone else. It would be terrible to lose a customer for this reason, especially if you were close to helping solve their issue.

Most people can be pretty forgiving, especially when they know they are dealing with a feeling, caring human on the other end. Even the angriest customers can become calmer and more reasonable if they are treated with honesty. The trick is not to feed into the indignation they are already feeling.

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