Telstra Touts Focus On AI & CX Following $1B Profits

Telstra Touts Focus On AI & CX Following $1B Profits

Telstra posted a net profit after tax of a cool $1 billion in its half-year financial yesterday, up 11.5 per cent year-on-year.

The telco, whose marketing arm is helmed by CMO Power List inductee Brent Smart, announced that it would be continuing to invest in AI and improving its customer experience as primary growth levers for the rest of the year.

“We continue to see the positive impact of product simplification and digitisation on customer experience. We have 93 per cent of Consumer & Small Business sales on our new digital stack, and overall we have digitised 71 per cent of our key service transactions,” said Telstra CEO Vicki Brady.

“On digital leadership, we continue to invest in our digital capabilities to help improve customer
experience, uplift our productivity, and help industries and businesses to digitise. Within Telstra, we are
now using AI to improve half of our key processes, including to automatically detect and resolve fixed
services faults, and to solve customer issues faster.”

The telco also added that its total income climbed some 1.2 per cent to $11.7 billion.

“Cyber security, identity and scam protections remain extremely important to us and our customers. After a successful pilot, we launched our Scam Indicator in partnership with the Commonwealth Bank to help protect more Australians from phone scams. Through our Cleaner Pipes initiative, we are blocking on average more than 10 million scam calls and 11 million scam SMS’s each month. And we’re also blocking almost 280 million scam and unwanted emails reaching our BigPond customers each month.”

Brady also said that Telstra had helped around one million customers in vulnerable circumstances stay
connected in the first half of the financial year and mobilised more than 3,000 of its people on the ground and via its disaster assistance line to respond to cyclones, storms and flooding.

“We know the external environment is putting pressure on consumers and businesses, and we will continue to invest to deliver connectivity that is reliable, resilient and secure, and offer plans that are simple and deliver the services and choices our customers need,” said Brady.

“All of this work has helped to keep customer complaints at record lows, and Episode NPS at record highs.”

Smart told B&T that while he takes a longer-term view of his work,”You don’t build brands quarter-to-quarter,” he still has to hit the numbers.

“For me, it’s not a question of ‘Or’, it’s a question of ‘And’. We build the brand for the long term but marketing must also deliver and contribute to winning the trading war, week-by-week, month-by-month, quarter-by-quarter,” he added.

Telstra is operating in a very competitive space, he explained, competing with everyone from the other telcos to ALDI and Woolies, JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman. However, he refused to be drawn on the number of customers it had won in the fall-out from Optus scandals over the last two years.

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