Telstra promises to improve customer care in new campaign

Telstra promises to improve customer care in new campaign

Telstra will tomorrow launch a “humble” marketing campaign with a pledge to continue improving customer service, after pouring one billion dollars into the area over four years.

The campaign, which uses Sydney’s New Years Eve celebrations as its backdrop, will launch on January 27 and comes 15 months after Telstra’s colorful rebrand.

Inese Kingsmill, Telstra’s director of corporate marketing, told B&T that the campaign comes after Telstra recorded improvements in key customer service indicators.

“Satisfaction is trending upwards and complaints are trending downwards despite the fact that we have added more customers,” Kingsmill said.

Telstra has won two million new customers in the past two years while complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) have dropped by 10% in the past six months.

“It would be fair to say that there were some reasonably negative attributes associated with the perception of Telstra four years ago,” Kingsmill said.

“I think we were viewed as being rather arrogant. I think that we were viewed as being big and powerful – but not in the right way.

“The attributes people sign to Telstra now have really shifted. We are perceived to be much more innovative, easier to work with and less arrogant.”

Kingsmill described the campaign, created by DDB Sydney, as the cornerstone of Telstra’s advocacy-driving marketing program. For more on how important advocacy is for a brand see B&T’s feature 'The Customer Care Evolution'.

While Telstra’s service has improved, Kingsmill stressed that the new campaign is “by no means proclaiming that we have made it”.

“In fact, the tone of this campaign is incredibly humble and we openly acknowledge that we won’t get it right every time.”

“But we do believe that now is the right time to let people know that we have improved, quite a lot actually, and that this is our customer service promise to them.”

The new campaign will run across television, press, cinema and digital with the first phase to run for roughly six weeks.

Kingsmill described the campaign as “significant” and wished to point out that it is not a “superficial exercise” or “window dressing”.

"This goes to the core of our culture, values and our DNA."

Changes Telstra have made include the development of 24/7 call centres, an app that allows customers to track their data usage and its peer-to-peer support platform, CrowdSupport.

Last year, Telstra cut around 1000 call centre and administrative roles from its books, according to The Australian, and closed two regional call centres.

The one billion dollar investment has also gone into “re-engineering” the business for customer centricity, with ongoing staff training and programs among other initiatives.

The focus on customer service was brought in by Telstra’s chief executive, David Thodey, who joined the telecommunications giant in May 2009.

Credits: client Telstra, chief marketing officer mark buckman, marketing director Inese Kingsmill, general manager brand Natalie Dean, senior marketing manager Serena Fernandes, agency DDB Sydney, executive creative director Dylan Harrison, group creative director Rupert Hancock, creative group head Duncan Shields, head of onscreen production Brenden Johnson, production company The Feds, producer Rebecca Bennett, director Ben Lawrence, The Editors.

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