"Customer delight and simplicity drive our action" – this is an ambition we have anchored in our Guiding Principles as a fixed component. In the competition for customer interest, network quality, an extensive product portfolio, and above all service quality play an ever growing role. We record customer satisfaction and loyalty regularly through a variety of instruments. Some of these results are tied to our managers' variable salary components and thus play a role in their performance assessments
We are continuously developing our customer service. We differentiate between online services (such as online forms on our website), personal service (such as in our shops and on the phone) and anticipatory service such as informing customers proactively regarding foreseeable disruptions. We have combined our measures into the two programs "C1 – customers first" and "eCompany Service".
All of our fixed-line and mobile communications customers in Germany have been able to contact us by phone around the clock at no charge since 2013. This applies to all of our service numbers and for questions regarding Internet and TV services. Our online channels 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. We systematically evaluate our customers' inquiries and complaints to identify the root of the problem and make improvements.
Indicator shows customer retention progress
We use the TRI*M index to gauge customer retention and regularly participate in benchmarkings. In the 2016 reporting year, the Group-wide TRI*M was 70.2 points, in comparison to the previous year's value of 68.3. The value for Germany was 60 points (previous year: 58). This means we have achieved our Group target stipulating a slight increase for both the Group as a whole and for Germany. By 2020, we want to achieve an annual increase of 2 points in Germany.
Best customer experience with "C1 - customers first"
The "C1 – customers first" program plays an important part in implementing our Guiding Principle "Customer delight and simplicity drive our action." The program ran from 2012 to 2016 and was designed to increase customer satisfaction, reinforce customer loyalty to Deutsche Telekom, create positive customer experiences, and spark enthusiasm. We implemented the following measures in 2016:
Successful customer program: C1 takes stock
The C1 program was ended successfully at the end of 2016 after five years. Since the start of the program, our customers' willingness to recommend us has seen a positive development, with a total index process tracking of 7.36 points in 2016 in comparison to 7.16 points in 2012. Key factors in the positive development were, first and foremost, programs like the welcome sent after a move, the personal switch advisor, and the continual improvement and automation of internal processes. We were able to achieve a slight improvement of 0.01 points in comparison to the previous year.
Furthermore, we consistently increased our TRI*M2016 reached a record 59 points (up from 52 points in 2012). We also achieved the best result to date for the overall TRI*M index for Germany of 60 points in 2016. This is an increase of 4 points in comparison to the annual value from 2012 (56).index values measured for customer loyalty. Consumer loyalty in
Ongoing measures in our C1 program will be transferred to existing service structures or other projects in 2017.
eCompany Service program: new digital service offers
We want our customers to always receive the best service from us – no matter whether they contact us personally, by telephone, or online. The eCompany Service program expands our online service and improves our existing offerings. Online services are established as an additional channel of contact. To achieve this goal, we developed a variety of measures during the reporting period.
- Besides classic telephone service, we now also offer text and video chat. The chat feature can be used both on desktop PCs and on mobile devices.
- We use the video ID process to check our customer's identity via video call. This allows the customer to identify themselves online via their mobile device. The process is also used by banks.
- These and many other online services can be used via the MagentaSERVICE app, which we have consistently enhanced over the past few months. The MagentaSERVICE app combines all of our services offered to mobile and fixed-network customers in a single app. Our customers can use the app to view their data usage and manage their contracts. We updated the app in 2016 and added new functions to it. For example, users can now change their bank details themselves without having to get in contact with customer service for this purpose. In addition, they can submit a query as to whether there is a disruption in their exchange area. We can also inform them of the projected duration of the disruption.
- The new "digital fault assistant" offers our customers fast, direct help. This is a so-called chat bot – software that can hold text-based dialog with humans. The assistant can automatically answer simple and moderately difficult questions related to wiring, installation, and faults. Besides step-by-step solutions, it also provides recommendations and aid in the form of instructions, images, and videos. This service allows our customers to solve some concerns on their own.
Responsible internet and smartphone use
As T-Mobile Netherlands, we believe it is our responsibility to provide information about the possibilities and threats entailed by smartphone use. We are therefore carrying out the following projects:
Debt prevention and debt-solving activities
We launched a variety of projects to help prevent customers from getting into debt owing to the fact that many households in the Netherlands are struggling financially. There are many different reasons why they are having difficulties paying their monthly bills.
- Guest lectures on debt prevention in schools during National Money Week: This nationwide project week organized by the Ministry of Finance particularly targets primary schools. Since 90 % of children get their first mobile phone when they are 11 or 12 years old, T-Mobile Netherlands has been providing guest lectures to teach children how to prevent high costs resulting from mobile use and showing them how to use their connection in a responsible way. In 2016, 150 colleagues were involved and the guest lectures reached over 4,500 children. The company’s employees held the guest lectures with materials provided by the company.
- Financial Cafes: We work together with the NGO Humanitas and other companies such as insurance companies to help people directly with their financial problems. Volunteers of Humanitas can call a direct telephone number of one of our employees, so debt problems can be solved immediately. Hundreds of people in need visit these cafes and there are plans to roll them out across the Netherlands.
- Poverty Coalition: This partnership between corporate banks, insurance companies, energy companies, bailiffs, money-collecting companies, universities and tax authorities is working to alleviate poverty among Dutch households in the Netherlands. In 2016, we had several meetings in which we shared our thoughts and approaches. One outcome was a television program about people in poverty.
- Outbound calling team: T-Mobile brought together a team of engaging colleagues as a special outbound calling team that calls customers involved in the debt-collection process. Instead of asking them to pay, the message is “How are you? We appreciate you very much as a loyal costumer. Can we help you?” This is being undertaken with the understanding that essentially every customer is willing to pay and that an appropriate solution can always be found for customers in financial trouble. In 2016, the team built on its success and was extended by 8 people so we can help more people in this customer-friendly way.
- Financial debt prevention through product design: We are very much aware of our responsibility to protect customers against fraud, unexpected costs, bill shocks, taking out subscriptions they cannot afford and problematic telecom debts. We introduced new services (Stel Samen Stel Bij) that enable customers to adjust their usage in real time. The T-Mobile App gives customers real-time insights into their costs and usage. We also prevent bill shocks by contacting customers in real time if usage is high. And if a specific customer cannot be reached, the services are put on a temporary stop.
In September 2014, the Dutch Transport Ministry and Safe Traffic Netherlands launched a campaign about the safe use of mobile phones in road vehicles: "Keep Your Eyes on the Road”. T-Mobile Netherlands was the first company from the telecom sector to adopt the campaign. A similar campaign was launched to encourage safe cycling since 20% of all cycling accidents in the Netherlands are caused by social media use in traffic. The fietsmodus-app activates a traffic mode that works in similar fashion to flight mode. In 2016, we gave away 3 bicycles to school kids who used the app the most. We equipped these bikes with special bells, which we developed together with a start-up. This bicycle bell automatically turns your smartphone into flight mode to prevent kids being disturbed by incoming calls or apps.
We joined forces with the Ministry of Justice, smartphone manufacturers and other telco's to support a national campaign informing people about how to make their smartphone unattractive for thieves. This campaign ran on television, radio, billboards and online for a total of three weeks.
In 2016, we were very active in raising awareness about smartphone use. The year was launched with an extensive Q+A section on our corporate homepage featuring tips and tricks. An e-learning platform is being developed on financial aspects, fraud and the use of social media for teachers. The aim is to educate school children with this platform. Our quiz on online safety was our contribution to the national “week of the knowledge about media” and the “alert online” campaign. Our “T-Mobile Helpt” program teaches elderly people to use their smartphone properly.
Awards for our service
TÜV Rheinland: rating of "good" for Telekom Service
| Deutschland TEST 2016: best online service |
Deutsche Telekom has the best online customer service in Germany. That was the finding of a study by "Deutschland Test" (a brand of the magazine Focus Money) and "Statista." The study evaluated the online customer service of 40 companies from the telecommunications, insurance, banking, and transportation industries. Service chats and communities were evaluated in the assessment, as was the quality of dialog through social networks like Facebook and Twitter .
| Deutschland TEST 2016: „Service-König“ |
Deutschland Test investigated customer service quality across Germany in 34 different industries for the second time. Deutsche Telekom is the winner in the Telecommunications category. Customers in the 40 largest German cities were surveyed for the test. This means a total of over 300,000 votes were recorded and evaluated.
| CHIP hotline test 2017 |
In collaboration with Statista, one of the largest market research companies, CHIP completed a major hotline test in 2017. Over a period of 8 weeks, they tested the service hotlines of a total of 150 companies from 12 industries with over 9,000 test calls, then summarized their findings in rankings. The testing focused particularly on the topics of customer service, wait time, availability, and transparency.
Deutsche Telekom was rated as "excellent" overall for its mobile communications hotline, and was the test winner in the Customer Service category. The fixed-network hotline was also rated as "excellent" in the overall assessment.
"Double flat rates" reviewed by Focus Money
The comparison site Check24.de completed a comprehensive test in April 2016 for FOCUSMONEY to investigate the price-performance ratio of double flat rates for fixed-line telephony and Internet service from a total of ten telecommunications and cable providers. The providers' price, service, and rate conditions were reviewed.According to the study, customers received the "best service" from Deutsche Telekom.
Customer service wins European Business Award
Honored with the International Business Excellence Award