Wise tech investments are key for crisis resilience

Ahead of her session at CCW Asia Online 2020, Anila Fredericks, head of customer service operations at Telstra, reveals how the Australian telecoms company adapted to maintain high-quality CX during the Covid-19 crisis

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Chanice Henry

Customer experience technologies

With 20 years of experience in the customer experience realm, Anila Fredericks, head of customer service operations at Telstra, knows what it takes to build world-class customer care. Reflecting on her career so far, she says: “I’m passionate about creating a culture where the customer is placed at the core of our operations.”

Customer expectations during Covid-19

As the Covid-19 pandemic restricts millions around the world to work from home and demands them to rely on telecoms’ technology for all communication, it is mission-critical for telecoms providers to maintain high-quality, reliable customer service experiences. Fredericks notes: “We have seen the urgent need for more bandwidth to support the increasing demand for online connectivity as well as in implementing firewalls and other network protection during these challenging times.“

“Customer expectations have not changed significantly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, but instead they have been intensified,” she continues. Coupled with the increased business need to rely on technology to service customers, Fredericks believes the key differentiator for organizations lies in how they embrace technology to deliver to customer demands.

Digital transformation

Well tested business continuity plans and wise investments into technologies such as interactive voice response systems and softphones allowed Telstra to pivot with speed when the pandemic hit.

Fredericks explains: “Our staff and their safety came first. Allowing them the flexibility to work from home and equipping them with the necessary tools ensured their ergonomic safety, but it also enabled our brand to continue to deliver on our world-class customer experience promise and to serve our customers better and meet their expectations.”  Softphones are one piece of tech that enabled Telstra “to communicate with customers and continue providing them with the omnichannel experience that is required and on a 24/7 basis.”

Looking ahead Fredericks says: “Being data driven and data informed is absolutely key. Transparency in reporting and data analytics has helped us pivot towards better planning for the months that will follow this pandemic.”

To hear more words of wisdom from Anila check out her session at CCW Asia Online 2020.