Telstra to offer real-time billing, tracking of technicians

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Telstra to offer real-time billing, tracking of technicians

Embarks on 'digital first' strategy.

Telstra is set to launch a real-time view of customer billing and payments, as well as a new digital service for customers to track the schedule of a Telstra technician assigned to work at their premises. 

When a Telstra customer logs on to their customer portal today, they usually see a summary of usage data that is delayed by 24 hours, CEO David Thodey said today in a speech to the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.

The telco will soon allow customers to view usage data in real-time, he said. Telstra was not able to confirm when the service would launch, nor for what products, by the time of publication.

The telco will also attempt to stop customers having to be home for large periods of time while waiting for a technician to arrive, by introducing real-time tracking.

The telco is expected to use geolocation technologies to more efficiently allocate jobs and keep customers abreast on when a booked technician is likely to arrive.

“We’re going to enable you to track field technicians en route to your house," Thodey said today.

He spoke more broadly of the need for Australian companies to become more digitally-enabled in order to remain relevant.

The Telstra CEO highlighted several initiatives the telco had undertaken in recent years in order to become “one of the most digitally-enabled companies in Australia”, a program he said the telco was only 10 percent of the way through.

The 'digital first' program initially targeted Telstra's sales, service and marketing divisions and is now being extended across the entire business.

The program has so far included such efforts as moving customers to online payments and offering a 24/7 presence on social media, among others.

Update 4:25 pm: Telstra said it would assess a number of technologies - including dynamic mapping, GPS and forecasting technology - over the coming months to support its real-time tracking plans.

It is expected to use GPS units installed in technician's vans over five years ago in its real-time tracking solution.

Specific programs of work will be rolled out over the next three years, a spokesperson said.

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