iiNet calls for customer service focus

Customer service must take focus or providers will risk high churn levels

Internet service provider, iiNet (ASX:IIN) has claimed customer service must be given a greater focus in the telecommunications industry or providers will risk high customer churn levels.

iiNet general manager customer service, Paul Cahill, said customer service is becoming the deciding factor for customers when choosing a provider.

Cahill said new customers are often gained through churn as a result of poor customer service at their last service provider. “With the National Broadband Network (NBN) providing universal access, the quality of customer service can only grow in importance as a key product differentiator,” he said in a statement.

iiNet’s claims follow s call from the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) for telco’s consumer protection rules to be overhauled and for a thorough inspection of whether the current self-regulatory system is working in the best interests of consumers.

Customer service in the telco industry has also been the subject of an investigation by the Australia Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

“Customers are forced to endure long periods spent on hold and being transferred from operator to operator,” ACCAN chief executive, Teresa Corbin said at the time. “Add to that the frustration experienced by a customer who cannot make themselves understood or understand the person at the other end of the line.”

The investigation also followsa report compiled by the Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre from the University of NSW which also found the Australian communications sector’s complaints process is “unacceptable”.

Complaint comparisons, released by the Telecommunication Industry Ombudsman (TIO), recently highlighted where complaints had more than doubled for some internet providers. "Consumers simply want a better experience when dealing with telecommunications companies,” Cahill said. “If we don't lift our game as an industry then these regulatory responses will gain further traction."

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