Optus will take six months to restructure its customer service model

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Optus will take six months to restructure its customer service model

Will divide customers among 'dedicated' support teams.

Optus is set to assign every customer it has to a “dedicated” support team over the next six months, its latest attempt to stop calls being bumped from agent to agent for resolution.

The telco said it would “reinvent … the contact centre experience” by introducing what it is calling the “community of experts”.

“Every single customer will be moved into their own dedicated [support] team,” Optus said, though it was not immediately clear what the ratio of customers to support staff would be.

Optus said the idea is to have multi-disciplinary teams “entirely centred around collaborating and solving the needs of their customer base with the aim of eliminating transfers to different departments.”

“While a customer’s request could cover a range of areas, such as renewing their contract, requesting more information about Optus products or asking for help with their bill, the best thing about this is that no matter what, the customer returns back to the same team - their community of experts - each and every time.”

Access to support will continue to be via messaging in the first instance - a trend many telcos, including Optus, have adopted in the wake of Covid-19.

“Customers can reach their community of experts 24/7 via messaging and if they want to and reach out over the phone during the day, they have the option to do so,” Optus said.

The telco said the new model would eliminate “the old contact centre run around by removing barriers such as complicated phone menus and complex routing”, though it’s unclear what technology sits behind the new support model.

iTnews was seeking further comment from Optus at the time of publication.

Optus vice president of customer care Mark Baylis said the telco recognised that “getting help can come with a lot of friction points and that’s not good enough”.

“We recognise organisations often design their operating model based on efficiencies rather than really placing customers at the centre of the experience,” Baylis said.

“We were no different. We had our teams set up based on specific skills or channels and we knew something had to change. 

“We needed to organise our business around what the customer needed from us. It could no longer be about us. It has to be about our customers.”

Optus has been toying with an operating model shift for some time - pre-dating the pandemic - to stop needing to put customers on hold or in a position of having to explain a problem to multiple departments as a support query is passed around.

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