Optus send message for better customer experience

As a part of its 2020 CX vision, Optus has launched Messaging to improve its customer service and support

Ask a consumer, and you're likely to hear telcos are not particularly good at customer experience (CX). However, Optus is making the effort to change all that.

As a part of its 2020 CX vision, Optus has launched messaging to improve its CX. And if its Net Promoter Score (NPS) improvements are anything to go by, it’s working a treat. 

The new Messaging’ service aims to support customers in addition to its ‘always-on’ help and support channels. The aim is to improve customer experience by providing a 24/7 direct line of communication with Optus care teams where customers can come and go from a conversation at their own pace and convenience.
Messaging is available through My Optus App and online via My Account, and customers can start a conversation online in My Account and continue the same conversation through My Optus App on their mobile device.   

A key feature is customers and care teams have access to the full conversation history anytime, on any channel. This means customers using Messaging avoid having to repeat themselves as the conversation can be picked up and continued by support teams.

While the telco admits it has a long way to go, it says it is committed to putting the customer in control of its communications, and this is just one step in the transformation of it CX. 

For example, it comes off the back of more than 300 Optus employees completing at least one class within the telco’s new CX Academy since its launch six months ago.

Optus vice-president of digital consumer, Vaughan Paul, said Messaging is a substitute to the chatbots most companies are using as a replacement for human interaction. He claimed the telco is combining the best of both chatbots and human service.

The NPS scores for Messaging so far have exceed a simple chat alone experience to reach the 50s across all touchpoints, Optus said, a good effort for a typically low scoring industry. Paul said this has also involved educating its customers about the fact they no longer have to wait on the line for a resolution to their issues.

“It’s giving us good results because it’s putting the customers in control. Unlike typical chat where you have to stay on the line to get a resolution to your question or issue, this allows the customer to leave their concern with the agent, who can get back to them,” he explained to CMO. “Messaging also retains the whole message history even if you log out, which makes it a more convenient process. We’ve seen significant NPS increases from the traditional chat process."

Transparency is another win, and Paul said Optus is able to send graphics and images. He freely admitted, from a whole of industry perspective, telcos can certainly improve on customer experience. One of the challenge is dealing with a lot of legacy approaches in dealing with customers. 

“We recognise we have to put the customer in control, so they get to choose the channel they want to communicate with us in. We have to make it accessible and have the digital experience be really solid and all connected, so the handover between channels is seamless," Paul said. 

“We are changing our service model to make it easier for customers to contact us, and we are leveraging technology to do this, but not only technology. It’s a big job, as an industry and for ourselves, to get where we want to be."

The biggest challenge is the customer behaviour shift to not have to hang on the phone, Paul said. 

“As tech becomes easier to access for customers, their expectations are lifting across the board. We as large companies need to follow that expectation. We have a lot more work to do, no question, but we are really excited by it so far," he added. “We have plenty more CX vision coming up, this is just part of it.”

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