Ensuring excellent service quality
We want to offer impeccable service that satisfies all of our customers. To achieve this objective, we bundled the Deutsche Telekom service units – with the exception of the Telekom shops – under one roof back in 2017. This enables optimal coordination and alignment of the service processes from beginning to end from the customer’s viewpoint – from the initial contact with the hotline to problem resolution. This has allowed us to already reduce the number of complaints by almost 50 percent.
Our landline and mobile customers can reach us around the clock in Germany using our service numbers, including for internet and TV issues. Our online channels are becoming more and more important: our homepage, the “Telekom hilft” community in social networks and our app. 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 2018). We expanded our digital offering with new functionalities in 2018: For example, customers can arrange the relocation of a line using an app or track the arrival of a Deutsche Telekom technician. In addition, we simplified hotline authentication for customers.
“Telekom hilft” – Europe’s largest community
Our customers can also reach us on social networks. Our digital service platform “Telekom hilft” now has more than one million registered users, making it Europe’s largest telecommunications community. Consumers and business customers can help each other on the www.telekom.de/community web portal as well as on Twitter and Facebook or seek advice and support from one of the around 120 service employees.
Measuring customer loyalty and willingness to recommend our 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 U.S.). The index itself is calculated from four individual issues (competitive edge, performance, continued use and recommendation). The Group-wide TRI*M index was 67.7 points in the 2018 reporting year, representing a slight increase over the 2018 benchmark figure of 67.2 and thus allowing us to achieve our Group target. The TRI*M index for Germany was 59 points, compared to the previous year’s 59 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 target for 2019 is to achieve a further improvement for the Group as a whole and to increase the TRI*M index by one point for the Germany segment.
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.
Customers help shape service
Our customers should be given the opportunity to help actively shape Deutsche Telekom’s products and services. It was with this in mind that we launched the Telekom Ideenschmiede (think tank) online platform in 2018. Ideas for improving our offerings are now shared here by more than 4,600 registered users. Community members present their ideas, rate suggestions from other community members, or express their opinions on suggestions and questions from Deutsche Telekom. In addition, online surveys are conducted and personal meetings arranged with members. Based on the feedback received from the think tank, we have already started to make Deutsche Telekom bills simpler and more customer friendly, for example.
Innovative callback services shorten wait times
Our innovative callback services allow us to avoid unnecessary wait times. If the customer does not want to stay on the line for the announced wait time, they can request a callback to a number of their choice by means of a voice prompt. Many customers would also like to speak to the same contact again and not to have to explain their query repeatedly. Thanks to our personal callback service, this can be done really easily within 48 hours, both from a fixed-network or mobile phone. And to also reduce the time the customer has to wait for the technician, we aim to also reduce the time frame for appointments with technicians.
Additional improvement measures planned for 2019
To further improve our service, we systematically evaluate our customers’ inquiries and complaints to identify the root of the problem and continuously make improvements. This has already allowed us to reduce the number of complaints, for example, by around 40 percent. We also almost reached our target in 2018 of ensuring that no appointment with one of our technicians is canceled at short notice. In cases (less than 2 percent) where an appointment needed to be unexpectedly canceled nonetheless, the customer was promptly informed of this and a new appointment was scheduled. At the same time, we are continuing to work on improvements across all channels – whether person-to-person, over the phone, online or via app. The focus is on increasing the first resolution rate – in other words, the number of customer requests that can be resolved on first contact – and further improving the punctuality of our technicians.
Independent tests carried out by the magazines Connect, CHIP, and Focus Money and by audit firm TÜV also confirmed that a large number of measures and closer collaboration under the umbrella of our new service unit have already delivered countless improvements.
Our innovations for better service
In addition to improving existing contact channels, we are also working on innovative new service offers.
- Customers want a fast and simple overview of their contracts and the services they have booked. The “MeinMagenta” (My Magenta) app makes that possible. The app provides information at a glance via tablet and smartphone on contract status, data volumes, inclusive minutes, and much more. In addition, the app offers important questions and answers, help videos, and community posts. Direct access to a personal contact via chat or video chat is also possible. The app was made even more user friendly in 2018 and new features were added. With the addition of the shop, customers now have the opportunity to conclude new contracts, renew their contracts, and book new tariff options. More than four million customers are already using the app and give it an average rating of four out of five stars.
- Our customers can optimize their internet access in their home Wi-Fi network using the “Mein WLAN” (My Wi-Fi) feature in the “DSL Hilfe” help app. This allows them to check the quality of the Wi-Fi connection in a flash and determine the range of their wireless network. In addition, the self-service Wi-Fi check offers useful tips and tricks for improving reception – from moving the router and adjusting the antennas to installing additional repeaters.
- Our digital service assistant – an automated text chat function that can engage in text-based dialogue with customers around the clock – offers help on more than just faults. It also supports customers with other issues – whether it’s a help, advice, or service query. The assistant has been using AI technology since April 2018, allowing it to learn: Its answers are increasingly accurate, thus providing customers with the best possible assistance. If an issue arises that the assistant cannot answer, the customer is forwarded to a customer adviser. The text chat function has gone down very well with our customers. It is already being used more than 130,000 times a month, and the figure is rising.
- Few have not been burdened with the tedium of searching for customer numbers or passwords. For this reason, we introduced the “SprachID” (VoiceID) in 2018 to make it easier for our customers to authenticate themselves on the service hotline. Anyone wanting to use this service has to repeat a predefined sentence three times when registering. Voice characteristics are converted into a numeric value in the process and stored in compressed form. To authenticate themselves later on, customers simply have to utter the sentence “At Deutsche Telekom, my voice is my password” (in German) and the system can identify them uniquely. After just five months, more than 200,000 customers have already registered for the service.
- Our customers have been able to use our online application “Mein Telekom Techniker” (My Telekom Technician) since summer 2018 throughout Germany to track the arrival time of the Deutsche Telekom technician. The service is used on average around 4,000 times a day. “Mein Telekom Techniker” (My Telekom Technician) is being further developed together with our customers. Customers give this service an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.
We use the opportunities offered by digital transformation in areas where it offers added value for customers, relieves the workload for our employees and is accepted by them. Our service always remains empathetic and human-centric as a result.
Awards for our service
TÜV Rheinland: a “good” rating for Deutsche Telekom’s service
DEUTSCHLANDTEST 2018: Service King
Double flat rate for internet and phone
Focus Money tested the best double flat rate for making landline calls and surfing the web in collaboration with the online portal Check24, scrutinizing aspects such as price, service, and rate conditions. Deutsche Telekom came out on top in this comparison in the “Service” sub-category.
2018 CHIP hotline test for fixed-line and mobile telecommunications
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Connect 2018 “Broadband Hotline Test”
The magazine Connect carries out an annual review of the broadband/fixed-network hotlines of the various providers.
The current test confirms that Deutsche Telekom offers the best fixed-network infrastructure and the best hotline. Aspects such as accessibility, wait time, costs, friendliness of employees, and the quality of information were assessed.
Connect 2018 “Best Service App”
The trade journal Connect asked which was the “Best Service App” in the telecommunications sector this year. The service apps of network operators Deutsche Telekom, O2, and Vodafone were tested. Deutsche Telekom’s MagentaSERVICE app was the test winner with a rating of “exceptional”.
Honored with the International Business Excellence Award 2018
Deutsche Telekom once again won the “International Business Excellence Award” in 2018 in the categories “Customer Experience and Voice of the Customer” and “Telecommunications and Information” for its Voice of the Customer program, an international customer contact analysis. The program collects customer feedback across all contact channels. More than five million feedback responses are collected this way every year and used to optimize customer service. The system is already in use in twelve European countries.
T-Mobile Austria wins “International Customer Experience Award”
T-Mobile Austria received two distinctions for its messaging service at the ceremony to mark the 2018 International Customer Experience Awards. The T-Mobile service won the coveted award in the categories “Contact Center” and “Best Digital Strategy”. The messaging function offers customers a location-independent service that is not tied to opening hours. Service advisers therefore have time for longer investigations, which in turn allows the customer to remain in contact with a single contact until the case is resolved.