As a service-oriented, responsible company, we feel obliged to respond to our customers' needs and expectations. We have incorporated this commitment in our Group-wide Guiding Principle "Customer delight drives our action." In this vein, we develop sustainable products with a high degree of reliability and easy-to-use, intuitive controls.
In order to promote dialog with our customers, our goal is to enable them to get in touch with us in a fast, uncomplicated way through various different communication channels. Since March 2013, we have been the only provider that can be accessed at any time free of charge by all fixed-line and mobile communications customers. This applies to all service numbers for questions about fixed-line, online, wireless and TV issues. Online inquires are becoming more and more important. More than 40 percent of all service inquiries at Telekom Deutschland are solved by support provided by our cross-area online platforms. Systematically evaluating customer inquiries and complaints gives us the chance to identify the underlying causes and introduce improvements, helping us achieve our aim of significantly reducing the number of complaints.
We evaluate customer satisfaction at all of our locations by conducting surveys, and integrate the results into our management processes. Systematic complaint management also provides us with valuable information about areas that need improvement.
Compared to late 2011, we recorded 20 percent fewer complaints and repeat calls in the areas of fixed-line and mobile communications at the end of 2012.
Within the scope of our K1 program ("Customer first"), we launched the Complaint Management 2.0 project in 2012 to improve customer service in the fixed-line consumers area, where we frequently get calls. If customers make repeated calls within a certain period of time, a trained case manager takes over the service process. The case manager handles the case and provides the customer with regular progress updates, e.g., via a short phone call. Thanks to these improvements we were able to increase customer satisfaction considerably. That also effects the results of our customer loyalty TRI*M program. We are planning to expand the Complaint Management 2.0 concept to include other customer contact channels such as e-mails and complaints in the technology area.
We see it as our duty as one of the leading providers of telecommunications and information technology worldwide and a service-oriented, responsible enterprise to take the needs and opinions of our customers into account. That's why an independent external service provider uses structured surveys to assess customer loyalty (surveys at Telekom Deutschland are conducted by the TNS-Infratest market research institute via the globally-applied TRI*M method). As part of this customer loyalty study, we measure our customers' loyalty to our company several times a year, primarily based on responses to the following questions:
- How our customers rate our performance,
- Whether they intend to remain with us and would recommend us to others,
- Our cutting edge over the competition.
The results are expressed in the form of a specific indicator, the TRI*M index, and integrated into our management processes. We were able to increase customer loyalty by 3.6 percent between 2011 and 2012 (last update: December 2012). Our goal is to increase this value by a total of around 10 percent by 2015.
In 2011, Telekom expanded its contact reduction program to include business customers, also streamlining and expanding is complaint management processes within the K1 program (Customer first). The goal was to improve complaint service, avoid unnecessary customer calls and permanently improve customer satisfaction in the business customer segment. The main focus of our activities was to increase satisfaction among small and medium-sized enterprises. These measures enabled Telekom to steadily increase customer satisfaction with the way we handled complaints. The results were up to 10 ACCI (after call customer interview) points higher at the start of 2013 than at the end of 2011.
However, there is still a lot of potential for improvement in the complaint management area. That is why we introduced additional steps in 2012 as part of the initiative. For example, we launched a new market research tool (process tracking) in January 2012, which for the first time monitors relevant business processes in Telekom Deutschland's fixed-line for business customer area and then evaluates the results using standardized KPIs. Unlike the ACCI, which uses market research to measure customer satisfaction 48 hours after service contact, this value is calculated using process tracking 14 days after service contact. Using both the ACCI and process tracking gives us a complete picture of customer perception along the entire process chain.Find out more
In 2009, the contact reduction project was launched in Germany with the aim of reducing complaints and repeat calls in the area of fixed-line services for consumers by 20 percent. We continued to expand our initial goals: In 2010, mobile services were included and in 2011 the project was extended to include business customers as well. We are planning on decreasing the number of complaints and repeat calls by 20 percent in each area. All organizational units that have direct or indirect influence on complaints are being included, from Sales and Marketing to Product Management, Process Management, Finance and Technology.
We have been bringing together all of our "Telekom hilft" activities (Telekom helps), which we publish on our Facebook and Twitter channels, on our new social media platform, "Feedback Community", since May 2012. Helpful tips and problem solutions from our service channels in the social web are now available in one place. 58 Telekom employees initiate and moderate discussions between our customers and solve specific service issues from the community as needed. Some 24,000 members have signed up since the platform was launched.
We sent out around 104,000 tweets providing information on Telekom-related topics in 2012, which around 23,000 people followed. The Telekom hilft Facebook fan page already has more than 36,600 fans (last update: December 2012).
Leading the way in customer service via social media.
Telekom answers almost all customer inquiries received via social media, making Telekom the leading German company in this area. In the AllFacebook Stats study from 2012, Telekom came in first out of 433 German brands with its "Telekom hilft" Facebook page. The company came in fifth in the general international comparison.
The technical services company, TÜV Rheinland, has been conducting a customer service assessment of the Telekom service hotline for twelve years now. Telekom shops and technical service were included in the assessment for the first time in February 2013. The survey of more than 2,500 customers on topics such as reliability, competence and friendliness showed that customers give Telekom's service at all three units a good rating. With these results, the units new to the 2012 assessment were able to join the service hotline in its positive results from previous years. This shows that our efforts to improve customer service are paying off.