Tuesday, 11 April 2017 00:23

Spark caters for Chinese speakers with new WeChat platform


New Zealand’s largest telco Spark has launched a new telecommunications information service on the Chinese social networking platform WeChat for both English and Chinese language speakers.

Spark says it has joined a handful of New Zealand organisations with a verified account on WeChat where English and Chinese speakers will be able to safely access information about the company and  telecommunications services such as store locations, product and service information and business support.

The new customer service channel will be managed by Spark’s One World team – an Auckland-based Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean speaking customer service centre that has been running for the past 11 years.

Spark chief executive, home, mobile and business, Jason Paris, said, “This is the first time New Zealand telecommunications services can be accessed in Chinese and English through WeChat, a channel which has seen phenomenal growth over recent years”.

“For billions of people worldwide, it’s the hub through which they meet people, find services, buy things, book appointments and carry out almost every kind of online activity, all through one app. We wanted to ensure that the way we do business is moving with this new paradigm, and that we’re showing up in useful ways where our customers are.

“China is a world leader in digital innovation and WeChat is a great example of that. It’s being tipped by many as a guide to how the Internet will develop in the future as our behaviours become more mobile-based. For us this is a great opportunity to learn new ways of doing things and then bring them into the broader Spark digital ecosystem.”

Paris said that, until now Spark collected and analysed feedback in English.

“As this plays a critical role in helping us shape the customer experience Spark provides today and tomorrow, feedback will very soon be actively sought in some of the other key languages spoken by New Zealanders: simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Hindi and Korean.

“We’re also working to make our multilingual store and business hub staff more accessible to customers. Recently, we’ve introduced language flags to our store fronts so that customers can clearly see the language options they have with us.

“These initiatives are a small but important piece in what is a rapidly developing area for Spark, and New Zealand businesses in general.”

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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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