10 Sep 2019

Vodafone to spend $10m upgrading customer service

1:29 pm on 10 September 2019

One of the country's largest telecommunications companies, Vodafone New Zealand, will spend $10 million over the next three months upgrading its much maligned customer service.

Logo of Vodafone.

Photo: 123RF

The company plans to use existing and new staff from Vodafone along with its partners, Indian firm Tech Mahindra and Probe, to create a New Zealand-based service team, dedicated to fixing customers complex issues from October.

"I do not think our customer service has been where we would like it to be for a number of years now," Vodafone NZ chief executive Jason Paris said.

The team, dubbed the X Squad, would scale-up over the coming year and complement the company's existing call centres locally and in India and the Philippines.

"This is a new investment, on top of our existing customer service teams. It is not about bringing people back [to New Zealand], it is about a new team, in New Zealand, that we have never had before," Mr Paris said.

Vodafone's level of customer service has been criticised for being inadequate and slow.

"Our existing channels are performing well. This is about the 30 percent of complex issues that take a little bit longer to sort."

"The vast majority of our customer enquiries are resolved first time, the complexity of our underlying systems, built up over many years, means too many of our customers have had to contact us multiple times."

The company recently ditched its previous international customer call centre company and switched to another international provider.

Vodafone NZ is now owned by infrastructure investor Infratil and Canadian investment company Brookfield after it was bought from its British parent for $3.4 billion earlier this year.

It plans to roll out a 5G mobile data network in some main centres by December. However, Mr Paris said that was not enough.

"[We] know network leadership counts for little if the customer service experience is poor. Customers are, rightly, increasingly demanding better service, whenever and wherever you want it, and we have to deliver," he said.

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