Our approach for top service quality

We strive to offer our customers impeccable service. We work constantly to improve our service, with the aim of ensuring our customers enjoy a positive customer experience. Our approach in this regard is to devote more time to customers, answer their queries on the spot and with a smile, and be there when they need us. In the year under review, we restructured our company in Germany accordingly. In May of that year, our sales and service operations were consolidated as “Sales and Service” within Telekom Deutschland GmbH. This consolidation, yielding an organization headed by our managing director for Sales & Service, improves the connections between our local stores, field-service technicians, technical customer service and back offices. The various areas now work together more closely, and we are able to provide better service to our customers and offer them faster solutions and a more-complete customer experience.

Very active service in 2021
In 2021 in Germany, we had a total of 30 000 employees providing service to our mobile and fixed network customers, and making a total of 90 million personal contacts in the process. Also in the year under review, callers to our service hotline had to wait less than two minutes on average to speak with a service representative. In the same year, the percentage of service technician appointments that failed to take place was considerably less than one percent. Our good service is paying off: Since 2017, we have been able to cut the number of customer complaints in Germany by a total of 80 percent.

Always available – even in a crisis
We are always there for our customers – even in challenging times such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, when pandemic lockdowns forced our Telekom Shops to close, some 900 of our Shops’ staff volunteered to do hotline duty from their homes, in order to ensure that the increasing numbers of customer concerns that were resulting could be handled. When the Shops reopened, we returned to providing our usual friendly and competent in-person service – in compliance with all measures imposed to protect against the coronavirus. Also in 2021, our field service staff continued to provide service calls to our customers, throughout Germany, with infrastructure-sales and “Servicemobil” vehicles. They provided personal, on-site service in Germany’s flood-stricken areas, for example.

During the disastrous floods of July, our service staff in Germany immediately launched aid and relief measures. Volunteers brought needed equipment such as cell phones and power banks to affected areas, for example. Our customer service team was also on location, to help local residents with any questions related to the restoration of their phone service. Three mobile service stations went regularly to affected communities and offered fixed periods of availability for consultations. Also, customers in the affected areas were encouraged to contact our service hotline, where our experienced hotline staff addressed their concerns with special priority and consideration.

Customer service for the region – and from the region
Nationwide, we are establishing a total of 14 regional centers, known as “Regiocenters,” in major cities. These centers’ service teams will serve customers throughout their pertinent regions, including customers in both urban and rural areas. Each such center will offer a full range of service expertise and products, including back-office support, technical customer service, field service, stores (Telekom Shops) and equipment. We will then automatically forward customer calls to the relevant Regio team, which will be able to directly handle all types of concerns – mobile network, fixed network, service disruption, or a field service request. A total of six new Regiocenters opened in 2021, bringing the total number of centers in operation to nine. Ultimately, with a view to getting as close to our customers as possible, we plan to operate a total of 14 Regiocenters, with each offering a complete range of service.

Promoting competence
We continuously provide our service employees with training on products and services. They can learn about and try out the latest solutions in specially equipped rooms at our service centers. We have also intensified our personal coaching by team leaders in everyday work. Knowledge databases and digital tools are enabling our employees to address customers’ concerns more and more quickly.

The high quality of our services has been independently verified by numerous successes in tests. For example, in 2021 the business magazine Focus-Money once again honored us as a “Service King.” For its awards, Focus-Money conducted a survey of over 288 000 persons, and asked which companies they thought gave them the best service. Awards such as these show that we are on the right track.

Improving our contact and process quality
We want to offer all customers the best-possible service experience. To meet that goal, several million responses from our customers are annually collected and analyzed by our quality management team. Customer satisfaction and resolving their request on first contact are our top priorities.

Our surveys are conducted either directly after a contact (for example, via the hotline, in a shop, on a field service call, or after an online inquiry by email or chat) or a completed process (for example, after service provisioning).

If a customer tells us in a survey that their request has not yet been resolved, a callback offer is made to clarify the request once and for all. The results of customer surveys are also used for internal training of our customer advisors.

Measuring customer retention and endorsement

We use the TRI*M img index to gauge customer retention and regularly participate in benchmarking. The recorded data is based on a customer survey conducted in all markets and segments (except T-Mobile US). To measure the TRI*M value, customers are asked four standardized questions – for example, whether they would recommend Deutsche Telekom to others; their answers are compiled in a key performance indicator. The TRI*M value for the Deutsche Telekom Group is calculated as an overall value from the individual measurement results of the countries or segments.

At the end of the year under review, the indicator for the Group (excluding T-Mobile US) came in at 73.4 points versus an adjusted value of 72.7 points at the start of the year (both determined on a comparable basis). As a result, the index value improved, and we achieved our Group aim of increasing it slightly. The Germany and T-Systems operating segments contributed to the positive development with improvements in customer loyalty.

The TRI*M index for Germany, at 69.2 points, is slightly higher than in the previous year (69.0). Also, it is considerably higher, for both consumers and business customers, than the comparable figures of the competition. In our EU business segment, we experienced a slight decrease, from 68.6 to 68.4, while the TRI*M index for T-Systems increased from 87 to 90 points. In sum, we once again reached our overall goal of a slight increase for the Group as a whole. Our goal for 2022 is to achieve another slight increase for the Group as a whole.

Customer satisfaction and loyalty scores are factored into both the long-term variable remuneration scheme for our board members and, to an extent, the performance assessments of our managers, meaning some of their variable salary components are linked to these ratings.

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