Striving to provide a "personalized service experience" with every interaction, Telstra - Australia's leading telecommunications company - offers its customers the ability to connect with the same agent each time they contact the company.
"A lot of frustration stems from customers having to re-tell their story," says Monty Hamilton, Head of Digital Operations at Telstra. "It's a real game-changer for us and our customers are loving it."
With more than 16 million mobile, internet and TV customers across the world, Telstra needs to be available 24/7 across multiple service channels, including social media. Monty talked with me for Episode 7 of the Focus on Customer Service Podcast about the company that replies to more than 400,000 annual posts.
Some of the most quotable moments of this episode include:
- "We want all customer interactions to acknowledge the customer's first name, but most importantly, offer our individual names in those interactions, and that enables us - whatever channel that dialogue takes place in - to help customers connect with the same person for any particular problem or enquiry."
- "We look at social media as purely an extension of the digitalization of all aspects of our lives."
- Our lives have changed and therefore when we choose to interact with other organizations has also changed with that... We need to simply be ready for our customers' change in appetite to deal with us in other channels."
- "It's really important that we start with empathy and understanding."
Here are the highlights of Episode 7 and where to find them:
0:30 Dan talks briefly about United Airlines' recent service shutdown and its excellent social customer service during the crisis
4:20 Monty's background and how he ended up at Telstra
5:30 Monty explains Telstra's goal of being "famous for caring about our customers" and how that tagline plays into its customer service philosophy
8:55 How Telstra expanded its focus on customer service to include social media
11:20 Why Telstra decided on 24/7 service in social media
13:50 How to deal with a difficult customer
17:50 Is social media a channel of last resort or first resort for customer service?
19:48 Monty's advice for other companies looking to build a great social customer experience team
Telstra was nominated by @CXpert from Melbourne, Australia. We are looking for more great brands to be featured on the show! To nominate a brand that has awesome customer service on social media, just tweet using the hashtag #FOCS.