One of the insightful things that has been said to me recently came from an independent consultant working at a major FMCG client. He said: “The problem here is that we have some people who are world-class at marketing to the masses, but they haven’t got a clue about how to speak to a customer.”
Optus has stressed the importance of customer advocacy for future growth after reporting improved customer engagement rates in its latest quarterly financial results.
The telco reported a 41 per cent leap in net profit for the three months to 31 December 2013 to $227 million, off the back of a 5.4 per cent dip in revenue to $2.16 billion.
In its statement, Optus said the focus on customer engagement and innovation resulted in significant improvements to its net promoter score (NPS) during the quarter. NPS results have traditionally been troublesome for the telco sector and much lower than compared with other industries.
Over the quarter, Optus improved from a negative figure to +5 compared to the same quarter last year, an improvement of six points and its first positive customer benchmark score in several years.
It also reduced its average monthly churn from 1.8 per cent to 1.4 per cent over the same period.
The company attributed this to a range of customer-centric initiatives in Australia including its decision to take back ownership of 120 franchised stores, as well as an ongoing store refit program. In the past quarter, it has fitted out and rebranded 57 stores. The Optus website and MyOptus app redesign, along with intensive customer service training for 1500 frontline retail staff, were also highlighted.
On the product front, customer-oriented enhancements included the launch of new fixed broadband bundles “without hidden fees or restrictive terms”, along with extending more prepaid mobile plans to 4G services, the company stated.
“Optus is making real progress, increasing its leadership over key competitors in customer advocacy,” claimed country chief officer for Australia, Kevin Russell. “We’re seeing an accelerated take-up of initiatives like My Plan, which provides customers with greater certainty over the cost of data usage.
“Customer advocacy is a critical platform for our business to grow strongly in the years ahead.”
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