Have you noticed how wait times have blown out?

View Post

I have become intrigued at the number of substantial organisations in New Zealand in recent times that have allowed their contact centre response times to blow out to unacceptable levels. It is not uncommon today to be waiting in a queue to speak to someone from reputable companies and some government agencies for over an hour.

Just yesterday I had such an experience when seeking an answer from a well known service organisation to a technical query that their website couldn’t answer.  I was given an indicative wait time of one hour to speak to someone. I decided to email my query and was advised that email response times where 10 working days!

So why has this blow out in service levels occurred to the extent that it has? Well it seems that this is just another example where it is easy to blame COVID.  Certainly COVID has created challenges but at Telnet it has also proven to be the catalyst to move more vigorously on systems and processes that are resulting in improvements in our service delivery. Telnet’s clients still expect us to answer at least of 80% of calls presented within 20 seconds. And we deliver on that most of the time.

Certainly I am fully aware that unexpected events can push out wait times to unacceptable levels. But these should be rare and short lived. The unacceptable wait times should not go on for weeks and months

Some will say “oh but our systems are very complex and require staff to be trained over many weeks”. At Telnet we don’ think it needs to be that way. Complex processes that require follow up work, and which are similarly nuanced are common within Telnet’s client-base. 

By providing common triage processes amongst all team members, guided by on-screen prompts, instructions, context sensitive knowledge, and optimised agent training, staff take the “least resistance” path to following the correct process – based both on what the customers say, and what knowledge is held in our systems. The end result is a quick accurate result, a great customer experience.

Telnet’s approach is proven across multiple industry verticals including Electricity, Fuel, and Government, and has been a core competency allowing us to provide successful outcomes time and again for fault and disaster management in utilities as well as scaling staff quickly and reliably for our Government clients

My point is we don’t need to accept poor customer service from our key service providers and they certainly shouldn’t be allowed to get away with the COVID excuse.

John Chetwynd

Founder and CEO of Telnet Services Limited