On the eve of expected news today from Telstra over their Windows Phone 7 update status for customers, I thought I’d reflect on my experience of Telstra in this final in my “trilogy” of posts re: NoDo updates for Telstra WP7 customers. Service Charter? CEO “change program” – Check. Check. Scorecard inside.
If you are to believe David Thodey, the current CEO of Telstra, his corporation is building steam and gathering momentum on their journey of transformation into a customer-focused service business.
Well I can attest to one thing from my personal experience – and that Telstra certainly seem to be building steam all right – a whole heap of hot air! Whether fluffy Telstra exchange blogs showing the CEO taking calls at a call centre – through to their almost laughable corporate website signalling their service charter and customer commitments…my recent engagements with David’s business suggests these are empty words and platitudes, with little support within Telstra, even from senior members in management within David’s team.
Let’s just run through some of their published customer service promises:
- Telstra’s strategy is simple: Put customers at the centre of what we do every day.
- new standards around responsiveness to questions, sales inquiries and complaints
- Customers are also starting to tell us how this new Telstra is delighting them and exceeding their expectations.
- We want you to be amazed by the technology and innovation we offer. We want you to be delighted by the service and reliability of every interaction with us.
- We aim to provide each customer with a personalised, seamless experience that makes it easier for them to manage their lives.
- We are committed to responding to your letters and emails within five working days
- We are committed to dealing with your concerns or complaints promptly, fairly, completely and courteously informing you of how we propose to act, how long it should take and what the results are;
All of these statements can be found in either the Telstra Customer Service Charter or their online Customer Service Page. Lip service, disinterest, arrogance and possibly ineptitude are words that come to mind when reflecting on my recent engagements with the Telstra business in regards to Windows Phone 7….
As reader at Sheeds’ Blog will undoubetdly know, since the launch of Microsoft’s latest Mobile OS last November, I have been an active and vocal supporter and advocate of this new mobile OS. From my extensive profile at Whirlpool, and posts on this subject through to my moderation of the Windows Phone 7 forum section over at the popular US site anythingbutipod – and now with the start-up of this Blog – my support and engagement in this OS has been a constant.
Following the international outcry over the roll-out of the first major OS updates (NoDO), Microsoft US apologised, acknowledging the need to better engage, be more transparent and recognise the OS early adopters/supportive customers. By contrast the “wall of silence” and absolute indifference Telstra have show on this subject beggars belief in the face off their own Commitments copied above.
Repeated emails to senior managers in both the Media, Online, Mobile and other relevant departments by this author have been ignored – without even the courtesy of a return call, email or even acknowledgement of receipt. Further to this, phone calls – when received by the media/public affairs department have seen Telstra representatives blurting fluffy corporate speak and avoidance of anything resembling any interest in acknowledgement of the concerns raised or intent to follow-them up.
Only one other Telecommunications company in the world has been as slow as Telstra to roll-out a March Software update (NoDo) for Windows Phone customers. Telstra have ignored tweets, emails, phone calls, Blog posts, forum posts and other engagement from multiple WP7 customers and users here in Australia. They have refused to engage their customers, be transparent about any legitimate reasons for the delay in releasing the approved NoDo update.
The have treated their customers with contemptible arrogance bordering on derision. Their tech-savvie, early-adopter premium WP7 customer base is disgusted. Furthermore, if Telstra has deliverately set out to absolutely deliver the worst possible re-inforcement of their old “image” their CEO is seeking to turn around – then they have achived this ourcome beyond their wildest dreams.
- Putting the customer front and centre…..well yes, if kicking them in the guts is front and centre! Check.
- New standards on responsiveness……Sure. Setting a new low! Check.
- Delighting and exceeding their expectations….Absolutely. Exceeding our worst expectations and delighting in it! Check.
- Amazed at the Technology……Too right – Amazed that Microsoft put their faith in Telstra for WP7! Check.
- Be delighted in the service with every intertaction with us…..Cool. I love Simon and Garfunkel – “The sound of silence” timeless classic. Check.
- Personalised seamless experience….Well All HTC Mozart owners now have a perfectly consistent and coherent message of how Telstra will look after them. Check.
- Committed to responding to your emails etc within 5 days…..Lol – that’s funny. Sorry where was I?
- and on and on and on and on.
Well good old Telstra. Meaningless platitudes on their website and charter aside. I guess it’s about what we all expected. What is a shame is that we ever elected to hope for something different.
So Telstra, you might update your smartphone status page today (don’t even think that this page is a get out of jail card – it’s not correct or accurate and EXPLAINS nothing) – you might even confirm NoDo is passed today.
Unless you explain yourselves and tell us how you will improve (and then actually do it), you won’t regain our trust and you certainly won’t rebuild our respect.
This closes out my trilogy of posts on Telstra, Windows Phone 7 and NoDo updates. Now to move the Blog posts onto more postive, exciting and interesting Windows Phone 7 news and events.