South African fixed-line operator Telkom has been notorious for taking up to 6 weeks to install a telecommunications line, but the company has now said that they have marked significant improvement in service levels of key business units this year, according to measurements by the annual independent Orange Index survey of consumer experience.
“We are busy with very powerful thrusts across Telkom to improve customer service, so the results of the Orange Index survey are encouraging. However, our latest service ratings not only show that we have made progress, but also that we have much further still to go. Our goal is to make fundamental changes that ensure our service is the best, and the customer ratings will then take care of themselves,” said Manelisa Mavuso, managing director of consumer services and retail at Telkom.
According to the company, Telkom Internet’s overall ranking improved from 84th position in 2012 to 58th position in 2013 with an index score of 47.78% versus the 39.94% in 2012. In the mobile category, Telkom Mobile was in 12th position overall, improving from 46th position in 2012. Telkom Mobile’s index score increased from 50.76% to 61.15% in 2013.
Mobile operator MTN (62.30%) was the winner in the Mobile category with Vodacom (61.73%) in second place and Telkom Mobile (61.15%) in 3rd place. There was only a 1.15% difference between the winner and Telkom Mobile.
“It is heartening that Telkom Mobile performed better on the aspects relating to the customer interaction, but we still need to improve on the meaningfulness of engagements with the customer by building stronger relationships. This will require an even greater focus on developing empathy and trust among customers, corporate social responsibility and first call resolution. We must continue to focus on the positive elements to close the gap on the industry leaders even further and to ensure that positive growth is maintained,” said Farhad Essop, Executive at Telkom Mobile Customer Services.
Mavuso concluded by saying that customers can expect a lot more from Telkom in the future. “We want consumers to know that Telkom has already made big changes and more can be expected. The goal is to transform the company so that it excels in all the dimensions that are important to business and retail customers. Service is a major part of this drive, but we have also a number of other initiatives underway that will deliver products that will improve the lives of our customers.”
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor