Feeds

Do Telstra’s call centre cuts add up?

Analyst says web self-service doesn’t always mean fewer calls

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Telstra has announced it will close call centres in Lismore and downsize another in Townsville, and cut other jobs around the nation.

The carrier has said the call centre jobs will go because call volumes have fallen 20% in the last 12 months. 30 per cent of customers, the company says, now use online customer service facilities, up from eight per cent in 2010.

But that explanation doesn’t chime with the recent Contact Centre Benchmarking report and study for Australia and New Zealand conducted by specialist contact centre and customer service research house Fifth Quadrant. The study is compiled using self-reported data gathered from contact centres.

Chris Kirby, the firm’s Head of Research, told El Reg that report found the average cost of handling a voice interaction with a customer is $14.58. A web-only, self-service, transaction costs an average of $3.80.

The difference in cost between the two customer service channels sees many organisations encourage their customers to do more online.

But Kirby said more online interaction does not always mean fewer calls to a contact centre.

“Customers might go online to read FAQs and do their research, and then go to voice channel,” he suggested. Once those customers do pick up the phone, they are more educated and have more complex queries That can mean longer, more costly, calls.

Where does that leave Telstra? The Reg can only assume that it is not telling porkies in public and that call volumes really are down, making the redundancies a sad but necessary business decision.

But we can also report, after recently acquiring a Telstra wireless broadband product that utterly failed to work, that the carrier’s website was of absolutely no use and its call centre had only a rudimentary and ultimately useless understanding of how to troubleshoot the issue. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.