Making a case for the living wage

After 23 years in the customer service industry, we understand that working the phones in a call centre can be difficult.  Despite this, the job still has a reputation for being typically low wage.  However, as you’ll see from reading the two articles below published by the NZ Herald and Stuff, at Telnet, we’ve set ourselves the target of paying all our staff at least the Living Wage well before the government mandates it.

Many NZ businesses believe that the solution to containing their costs is to outsource to cheap labour markets overseas.  At Telnet, we believe that keeping business local and paying a liveable wage to our staff is what keeps us ahead of the pack.  We’ve found a way to balance this philosophy with the realities of increasing labour costs by using advanced technology to automate low-complexity customer interactions, using chat bots, apps, IVR and artificial intelligence technologies to allow customers to self-serve for a lower cost to our clients.  This frees our agents to handle more complex interactions that require problem-solving skills, specialist knowledge or “the human touch” to resolve.

With our agents’ jobs becoming more complex, we emphasise making knowledge central to our processes.  Our in-house developed knowledge tools allow agents to quickly find the information they need rather than having to spend weeks in training to remember it.  Consequently, our training courses can usually be completed within hours or a day or two rather than in weeks or months as is typical within our industry.  Self-learning virtual agent technology allows our agents to use natural language to find information without having to consider how to structure their search terms.  The more our virtual agent tool is used, the more accurate it becomes at providing the right information needed to serve customers.

Our clients know how important the experience we provide their customers is and that’s why they choose us.  We offer our clients a cost-effective local voice, while providing opportunities for our staff to earn a decent income.

You can read more about our Living Wage strategies in these articles:

NZ Herald: