Do Telstra’s call centre cuts add up?
Analyst says web self-service doesn’t always mean fewer calls
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. ®
Should pay for itself …
… with the reduced demand from customers deserting Telstra
I'd like to lay claim to being...
Telstra's most virulently hostile ex customers.... but I am being stomped in the stampede of people leaving Telstra for better value and less bullshit else where, and the unhappy and or ex customers coming back in droves to point out the fact that Telstra is totally shit.
Shit service. Shit prices. - And the move to give us all the jolly services of foreign call centres?
Oh for fucks sake. Are the management of Telstra THAT stupid?
Just think, 15 years ago, an independent ISP on a 56K dial up, with say 80 meg a day of download, on 4 hour sessions came to $16 a month, Telstra came to $350.
On the issue of payphones on street corners etc., well:
a) 10 years ago I could buy a calling card that enabled me to call people on the other side of the planet for 1 cent a minute, and
b) yet in the days (now) of mobile phone services costing about $40 a month with unlimited calls to land lines and mobiles with 4Gig of data for internet use,
The stupid fucks who manage Telstra, instead of pricing the payphones to be community assets so that people could use them say at 50c for anywhere and to anyone you wanted in Australia, for say 10 minutes;
For a city to city call, it costs 50c for 42 seconds... making the payphone calls come to 56 minutes for $40 - that is about 1 hour of call time, per month, which is the same as the unlimited calls and call time to all phones, all around Australia on the OPTUS network.... and the resellers who sell the services.
And the morons who run Telstra, wonder why people hate them, their payphones and everyone - including the wino's in the parks, use mobiles, and no one uses payphones.
The best the idiots in the management can come up with is to stick adds up in the payphones, telling you, "Sick of carrying pockets full of coins to make a call - use our idiot phone card."
To which I have added - well if they didn't try to absolutely rip everyone off in the use of the payphones, people would not have to carry a bucket of coins to the phone box, just to make a fucking phone call.
Telstra - and the people who manage this shit hole of a company - thanks to their gouging and their bullshit services and all of the corporate monopolistic mind fucking they do to the people who paid their wages, I and so many other people no longer use land lines - they own and charge about $40 a month just to rent the last mile of copper wire - I can get a mobile plan with unlimited calls for that - and so I no longer use ANYTHING Telstra.
No more land line, no more Telstra anything and it's been that way for a LONG time....
Nickle and diming people to death with every bloody transaction, and staff who lie and bullshit and cover up and rip you off...
Now all of their crap services are going off shore to bloody foreign call centers...
I actually HAD to deal with them and it took 7 calls and 3/4 of an hour, to find someone in Australia, via the foreign call centers, just to find the call rates for the street corner phone boxes.
The clowns who manage Telstra - well there was a company that copied the contents of all the directories and put it on ONE single CD - and that was actually good to use. What did the pricks who manage Telstra do? They sued this company claiming copyright, and brought out their own totally idiot version of the same thing that was so badly done, it was like trying to brush your teeth by shoving the tooth brush up your arse.
And lately, the people who manage Telstra, have bought out PAPER phone directories, that have the fabulous chinese style micro print - that no one can fucking read. But hidden in pale gray text in a light brown back ground, on page 197 of the phone book, the idiots in Telstra did offer to give you a page magnifier - if you rang them and it would only take about 4 weeks to get it to you.
So many people have complained about this that they are reverting back to the older LARGE microprint phone books.
The people in Telstra just can't fuck it up - everything they touch turns to shit.
This whole concoction of bullshit about call centers from the management of Telstra are just that.
Now we have to deal with......... I don't even want to talk about this.
When ever I need to buy anything, I usually remember to check that their bottom dollar service centers are NOT in foreign countries.
The bullshit is just not worth it.
And this is the next bright move by the morons that manage Telstra.
The real reason is..
They are steadily shifting more and more capacity over to the Philippines because Filipino workers are far cheaper, far better educated and most importantly actually enjoy their work..
They can't come out and say this because it will just garner them even more bad press, and of course most of their employees do not support/are frightened of their off-shoring obsession.