Telecom NZ offshores 250 staff

Telecom New Zealand said today that it will be moving 250 call centre positions to Manila over the next 18 months.
Written by Suzanne Tindal, Contributor

Telecom New Zealand said today that it will be moving 250 call centre positions to Manila over the next 18 months.


(The Telephone image
by Atilla Kefeli, CC2.0)

The company had been trialling offshore call centres for a year to assess the impact on customer experience.

In areas where specific technical knowledge was sought from customers, offshore employees "delivered strong results" according to the telco, with the offshore operation recording the highest ever level of customer satisfaction for broadband support in December.

"This proposal will see the further migration of our broadband support help desk to our outsourced partners over the next 18 months, where we have found it easy to recruit technically-skilled staff," Alan Gourdie, CEO Telecom Retail said in a statement.

Yet in other areas, the offshore staff did not perform as well, convincing the telco to maintain its largest contract centre operations, dealing with calls to 123 and *123, at home.

"In the case of 123 and *123 the trial data did not show us the consistent performance we needed to see in order to be comfortable with a large-scale offshoring of that operation, in which a detailed knowledge of an extremely varied set of products and services is all-important," Gourdie said.

Once the 250 call centre jobs have been moved overseas, Telecom New Zealand will have 700 positions outsourced in Manila and 1,600 positions in New Zealand.

"Today's proposals will not change the fact that Telecom still has more contact centre reps in New Zealand, answering more calls from more New Zealanders, than any of our competitors," Gourdie said.

Six New Zealand contact centres would be restructured with a final structure to be confirmed by early March. Apart from broadband support, international roaming, online provisioning, wholesale voice provisioning and dealer support would have some positions moved offshore.

Telecom NZ would fight to keep redundancies to a minimum, Gourdie said, attempting to redeploy staff where possible. "Due to the long time frame for the migration, we expect the total number of redundancies to be very limited," he said.

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