Ensuring excellent service quality
We want to offer a reliable, high-quality service that satisfies all of our customers. In order to achieve this goal, we reoriented our customer service in 2017 and combined our customer service and technical service. This will enable optimal coordination and alignment of our service processes from beginning to end - from the initial contact with the hotline to problem resolution.
Our landline and mobile communications customers have been able to reach us around the clock in Germany since 2013 using our service numbers, including for Internet and TV questions. 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 overarching online platforms (as of the end of 2017). In order to improve convenience for our customers when they have service questions, we expanded our digital offering with new functions in 2017. For example, you can now arrange the relocation of a line using an app or track the arrival of a Deutsche Telekom technician.
Measuring customer loyalty and willingness to recommendour products and services to others
We use the TRI*M index to precisely gauge customer loyalty and regularly participate in benchmarkings. The basis for the census is a customer survey in all markets where we are active. The benefit for the Deutsche Telekom Group consists in data aggregation across all country values, excluding the USA. The index itself is calculated from four individual issues (competitive edge, performance, continued use and recommendation). In the 2017 reporting year the Group-wide TRI*M was 68.6 points compared to the previous year's value of 70.2. The TRI*M index for Germany was 59 points, compared to the previous year's 60 points. That means we didn't attain our goal of a slight increase. One of the reasons for this is that our service provision for business customers was deemed to be capable of improvement. Our goal for 2018 is to increase this number by at least one point. The TRI*M index for consumers in Germany was 57 points in 2017 compared to 59 points the previous year. This result was three points below expectations. We were able to again improve our customers' willingness to recommend us in 2017 compared to the previous year, adding another 0.04 points for a score of 7.40 points.
The results for our customers' satisfaction and loyalty are in part tied to our managers' variable salary components and thus play a role in their performance assessments.
New service orientation: doing even more to meet our customers' needs
We took another important step in 2017 with our service reorientation in order to create a service that is oriented to our customers from A to Z. To this end, we merged our customer service and technical service. Some 36,000 Telekom employees are now part of our service unit.
Our focus is on the needs of our customers. We are simplifying our processes and offer contact options, contact persons and solutions from one source. This is significantly aided by personal advisers who provide advice on relocations and changes of provider as well as by the personal callback service. For example, the personal callback service allows customers to speak with the same customer adviser within five days of the initial contact. Deutsche Telekom's voice portal logs the customer's request for a callback and forwards it to the corresponding customer adviser. The callback will then be initiated within one hour, and frequently sooner.
Our service reorientation is already showing initial success. Since 2017 we've had about 20 percent more technicians available for customers. We also systematically evaluate our customers' inquiries and complaints to identify the root of the problem and make improvements.
Additional improvement measures planned for 2018
Our goal is to achieve a zero cancellation rate for appointments with our technicians. In cases where an appointment needs to be unexpectedly canceled nonetheless, the customer will be promptly informed of this and a new appointment will be scheduled. We will also be gradually shortening the appointment time frame. This will prevent customers from having to keep entire days free for the technician's appointment.
In order to improve quality and increase efficiency even more, we want to prevent empty trips in the field and continue to increase instances where issues are resolved during initial contact. We want to wow our customers with our service – and not only during the problem resolution process but a lot earlier, if possible.
Our innovations for better service
We want to improve our service continuously and on all channels: personal, by telephone, online and via app. In addition to improving existing contact channels, we are also working on innovative new service offers.
- In order to improve our "classic" phone service, we have been offering an alternative to the hotline waiting queue since March 2017, at the request of our customers. Callers can request a callback if the wait times are very long.
- Many online services can also be used via the MagentaSERVICE app. It combines our entire service offering for mobile communications and landline customers, allowing our customers to do things such as check their data usage or manage their contracts, for example. In 2017 we expanded the app with a range of functions. A line relocation can now be arranged without having to personally contact customer service, for example. What's more, customers who want to make an appointment can use the app to find the nearest Telekom Shop.
- Our digital incident assistant – an automated text chat that can engage in text-based dialog with customers – was refined in 2017 to become a digital service assistant. It is now able to automatically answer questions about cables, installation and incidents with regard to telephony, Internet and TV. In addition to providing information about technical topics, the digital service assistant can now also tackle questions about e-mail, WLAN and smartphones. At IFA 2017, we presented, by way of live text chat, the newly added possibility of being forwarded to a customer adviser if the chatbot is unable to definitively resolve the issue.
- At the end of 2017 we launched the Arrival Control service, whereby the customer receives a link to a website via text message where he/she can track a technician's process steps until their appointment with said technician. For example, the customer can see whether the technician is still with the prior customer and when he/she is scheduled to arrive.
Awards for our service
| TÜV Rheinland: a "good" rating for Deutsche Telekom’s service |
For the fifth time in a row, the TÜV-Rheinland awarded Detusche Telekom's customer service, technical service and Telekom Shop sales organization the coveted "tested customer satisfaction" quality seal based on a representative survey. Some 2,670 customers in Germany were polled for the study in a representative random sampling. The three service organizations earned high marks in the areas of reliability, competence and friendliness, in particular.
Focus Money’s DEUTSCHLANDTEST 2017: Online Service
DEUTSCHLANDTEST 2017: Best Service App
DEUTSCHLANDTEST 2017: Service King
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CHIP hotline test 2018 for fixed-line and mobile telecommunications
Distinction with the International Business Excellence Award 2017
One Silver and two Bronze Loyalty-360 Customer Loyalty Awards