Monday, 03 March 2014 14:49

Customers number one, says Thodey, as Telstra rolls out Digital First strategy Featured

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Telstra is ramping up its strategy designed to make it a dominant player in the digital marketplace with CEO David Thodey announcing today that the telco will extensively change the way it interacts with its customers through significant investment in new digital technology over the next three years.

Speaking today at the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC), Thodey said Telstra was “accelerating” its move to become a “Digital First company”, extending its broadened digital agenda beyond sales, service and marketing to all parts of the business.

He outlined the next phase of the company’s digital strategy and said that, as part of the rollout of the strategy, every Telstra product and service will be looked at to see if there is a way they can be provided through digital channels as well as in-store or over the phone.

Thodey said the company-wide Digital First program will deliver major customer improvements, giving greater control over accounts, services, technical appointments, support options and product features to customers.

And, to support the digital agenda and investment in the digital future, Telstra is establishing Digital Transformation Centres in Sydney and Melbourne which Thodey said would be dedicated to delivering digital services under the Digital First program. He said there would be new positions in the centres for technologists and business experts.

“We have listened to our customers and know many of them want the convenience of dealing with us on their terms in their own time. Improving and simplifying our online relationship with them will help to deliver this.  

“We are challenging the way we do things to make life simpler and more convenient for our customers, giving them greater control in managing their telecommunications needs whether that be through our Telstra stores, contact centres or digitally.

“This month, we will commence the rollout of a new, enhanced technical support model. ADSL and mobile customers will be sent a unique code with their modem or mobile device which will allow us to provide tailored information so they gain the information they need faster and with fewer contact points.”

And, we have all experienced the frustration of having to wait at home for long periods of time for a tradesman or serviceman to undertake an installation or repairs.

So, in Telstra’s case, Thodey said today that under Digital First, Telstra will review ways to improve field force customer engagement, including introducing initiatives to “better automate job allocation and integrated mapping to get technicians to jobs quicker and more efficiently, while keeping customers updated on the estimated arrival time.”

“This will provide greater convenience and remove the need for customers to be available at home for large blocks of time,” Thodey said.

“Digital First will build on the digital improvements we have made in the past two years, which include increasing the number of self service options on our MyAccount service and offering 24/7 Live Chat options, however we know we can do even more in the digital arena to make life simpler and more convenient for our customers.”

Thodey said Telstra now has more than six million unique visitors to telstra.com each month – “making this our single biggest contact channel.”

According to Thodey, 44% of Telstra service transactions are now managed online, up from 26% in 2011, and the Telstra 24x7 App has been downloaded more than 3.5 million times.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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