Home Telecoms & NBN NBN launches new team to improve customer experience for Australian small businesses

NBN launches new team to improve customer experience for Australian small businesses

Hot on the heels of ACCC investigations into the NBN and the market, NBN Co has announced new initiatives for improving customer service for small businesses and the accelerated launch of NBN Co's wholesale enterprise product.

Details on NBN Co's wholesale enterprise product is here

As for small businesses, NBN Co says it has a number of initiatives "set to improve the connection and issues resolution process for business on the nbn broadband access network".

Noting how the rollout is "now more than halfway complete" and how "around 20,000 new businesses currently connecting to the nbn access network each month, we're told the company "has developed a team dedicated to supporting the needs of Australian businesses."

Why this team wasn't established from the very start isn't explained, which makes you wonder if the coffee from all those coffee machines at NBN Co has been accidentally delivered in decaffeinated format.

Indeed, it is a "newly formed team" that is "working alongside phone and internet providers to deliver an improved customer experience and develop additional wholesale product and service offerings purpose-built for businesses".

Again, why this has only been established in 2017, long after NBN Co's founding, is unfathomable, but it is the reality we live in. At least, at long last, such a team has been established.

Perhaps one should be established for the consumer end-user side of the business too, because if there is one already there, we certainly don't hear much about them or from them.

So, what do NBN Co's extremely belated business initiatives include?

  • Improved connection and resolution process – business connection process set to be improved with rescheduled appointments and complex orders prioritised and case managed by NBN Co and the phone and Internet provider.
  • Industry engagement – a new partner programme targeted at the ICT industry, which will offer training and accreditation for technology providers and local consultants to educate business customers about what they need to do to connect to the new network as well as information on applications which can support their business over fast broadband.
  • Tailored pricing – increased flexibility on NBN Co’s wholesale business products (NBN Co’s Traffic Class 2 product) with a new capped pricing model designed to increase competition in the market.
  • Business education campaign – a new integrated communications program launched this week, which aims to educate Australian businesses on how to connect as well as the impact of the NBN Co network on important business services such as EFTPOS, ATM and fax machines.
  • Regional business boost – introduction of wholesale fixed wireless and satellite enterprise products on the nbn access network to be launched in 2018 with the aim of helping regional businesses increase efficiencies and access new markets.

NBN Co’s chief customer officer, Business, John Simon, said: “We’ve been scaling our dedicated business team and working closely with service providers to optimise our processes and systems in order to lift the customer experience for Australian businesses connecting to the new network.

“Businesses often require a different level of service, which is why we’ve been developing custom-built wholesale product and service offerings and a targeted communications program in order to make the transition to the new network as smooth as possible.

“As the rollout continues to scale, we want to enable businesses of all sizes to embrace fast broadband and tap in to a whole range of applications such as high definition video conferencing and cloud-based tools, which were once only in the domain of larger organisations.

“Connecting a business to the new network may take some time and preparation. With the rollout set to be complete over the next three years, we recommend businesses get in touch with their phone and internet provider as soon as possible to make a plan to move their services over to the new network.

“The rollout of the NBN network is one of the most complex and ambitious initiatives to be undertaken in any telecommunications market across the world – we understand there is no silver bullet in improving the experience of people who connect to the network but we’re confident these new initiatives will boost the experience of businesses who sign-up.”

Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia (COSBOA) chief executive Peter Strong said: “In recent months, COSBOA has raised a number of concerns from our members with NBN Co regarding difficulties encountered by small business in securing reliable and affordable, high speed broadband services.

“We congratulate NBN Co on these customer service and product enhancements and believe that they will go a long way to addressing the problems being experienced by small businesses in Australia.

“COSBOA will continue to work co-operatively with NBN Co to enable small businesses in Australia to leverage the full benefits of the national investment in the NBN access network.”

More information about NBN Co’s wholesale business products and services as well as how to connect to the network is at the NBN Co website.

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

 

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