Macquarie Telecom has said it was on track with plans to bring its contact centre operations back in-house, as part of an effort to improve public discontent with the telecommunications industry.
Aidan Tudehope, hosting managing
director Macquarie Telecom
(Credit: Macquarie Telecom)
While the business telco has in the past outsourced call centres to companies including Alcatel-Lucent and Service Stream, its new Macquarie Telecom customer centre will bring services in-house in 2010. "We've consciously made sure we've kept all our contact centre staff onshore, so we don't offshore anything," said Aidan Tudehope, managing director for hosting of Macquarie Telecom. Alcatel-Lucent and Service Stream managed the Macquarie account in Australia.
By April, Macquarie Telecom will open the new customer centre, with a $5 million facility employing 40 contact centre staff. "Our new contact centre will go live this year — the hiring and recruiting has started and the team's on board getting trained," Tudehope said.
Tudehope told ZDNet.com.au that insourcing was necessary to improve perceptions, as the industry has been widely regarded as one of the worst for customer care.
In a recent Bank of Queensland Straight Talk survey, 63 per cent of respondents listed the telecommunications industry as the worst for customer service, over retail, banking and insurance. Complaints to the Telecommunications Ombudsman have also been on the rise.
"The industry is not well regarded for customer service; we're down there with the banks. As a business, three years ago Macquarie Telecom made the decision that we wanted to become recognised for our customer service," Tudehope said.
"The end game is to continue to put daylight between us and our nearest competitors when it comes to customer care and it's turning what is an industry that is poorly regarded in terms of customer care into one that's excellent at it."
Aside from this push, Tudehope believed growth would come from other areas in the coming year, including the government's planned National Broadband Network, which he said would create opportunities for the company's hosting arm.
"The NBN's going to really turbo-charge the web hosting part of our business, when all of a sudden websites won't be designed for relatively slow and moderate speeds, they will be able to be engineered for high-bandwidth users," Tudehope said.
"It gives a very significant opportunity to Australian hosters like Macquarie Telecom, some of which are very much looking at it and see that opportunity, but I would suggest some are just waiting for it to happen and will have a rear-guard action to try to catch up to other hosters, some of which may leave it too late."