Optus CEO details ‘NBN champion’ program to combat migration woes

Telco has also launched a ‘customer academy’ for its employees

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Optus says it is working to improve the experience of migrating to the NBN, with the telco’s CEO, Allen Lew, today revealing details of an initiative to smooth the transition to the new network.

In notes prepared for an address to ACCANect, the conference of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), Lew revealed that the telco has invested “tens of millions of dollars” in the “Optus NBN champion” program.

The program is designed to address a range of frustrations encountered by customers during the migration to the NBN. Those include confusion caused by the hand-off between sub-contractors, NBN Co and retail service providers (RSPs), struggles with installation and chasing answers to questions, lengthy activation processes, and a lack of visibility of the process for customers.

“We are proactively reaching out to existing customers who are migrating to the NBN to reassure them that one person will manage their order from receipt right through to completion and for the first 30 days of activation,” Lew said.

“This isn’t a promise to do; we have been embedding this since May and slowly building scale so that we can offer it to all our customers.”

The CEO said that, over the last 18 months, Optus has made “significant changes” to its operations “to ensure the customer is at the centre of every decision we make”. That includes the launch of a “customer academy” for employees.

“Our call centre agents now have more training and more authority, so they can solve issues without having to transfer calls so customers aren’t passed around,” Lew said.

“We have added more agents, too. This means we have massively reduced our wait times. In fact, we just received new stats that our average wait time – which a year ago was a completely unacceptable – is now less than 60 seconds.”

Lew said that Optus supported the revised Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (TCP Code), which came into effect on 1 August.

The company’s efforts are bearing fruit, he said, with complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman dropping over the last 18 months. “We expect the next report will report a continuation in this trend,” Lew said.

“But we won’t be using this as an excuse to slack off and will instead double our efforts so that we can see our figures improve even further.”

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Tags TelecommunicationsoptusNational Broadband Network (NBN)

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