Great organizations ensure that the customer’s point of view is represented in every decision they make. In the early days at U.S. online retailer Amazon, CEO Jeff Bezos famously would bring an empty chair into leadership meetings so that his team would always keep the customer top-of-mind when making important decisions.
Since 2010, we have endeavoured to put our customers at the heart of everything we do at TELUS, and so we were thrilled earlier this week when the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) annual report revealed a 27 per cent decline in the numbers of complaints filed against TELUS – our second consecutive year of double digit declines.
What is even more impressive is that this took place in an environment where complaints against our industry as a whole went up by 26%, with complaints against some of our competitors going up significantly.
Despite a base of well over 12 million customer connections, there were only 883 complaints filed against TELUS, which represents only 6.4% of the total complaints received by the CCTS. It’s really quite amazing when you think about it: we are one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies, with a market share of nearly a third of Canada’s wireless subscribers, and yet we only received a small percentage of the total complaints.
The results also show another extremely encouraging result for TELUS: over the past three years, our total number of complaints, as well as our percentage of the total number of complaints, has been trending downward.
We’re making great strides by listening to our customers, learning from our mistakes and finding ways to improve our customers’ experience with our products, services and team. The CCTS report, accolades from third parties like J.D. Power and Associates and our industry-leading customer churn tell us that we are on the right track.
We’ve used insight from past CCTS reports to make real changes that benefit our customers. Customer-friendly changes like simplifying our contract language, introducing data and roaming notifications, and getting rid of activation, renewal and cancellation fees have addressed some of the most common complaints received by the CCTS. On top of that, we’ve worked extremely hard to build a corporate culture that inspires our team to put our customers first in our behaviours and decisions – each and every day.
As we have publicly declared previously: we know we aren’t perfect, but our entire team is deeply motivated to improve our customers’ experience with TELUS – and there is still much more work to be done. Although we saw a sharp decline in the number of complaints against TELUS, we will continue to work hard to earn our customers’ trust and loyalty, and further decrease the number of annual CCTS complaints against our company.
At TELUS we strive to set ourselves apart from our competition by offering a differentiated and friendlier customer experience. While those differences are obvious to our employees and customers, unfortunately the media often group us together with our larger competitors, with the assumption that we all act in the same way.
The 2013 CCTS report shows, without a doubt, that our customer-centric approach has differentiated us from our competitors, both large and small.
TELUS, Rogers and Bell may all be of similar size, but when it comes to satisfied customers and superior customer service, there’s no such thing as “the Big Three.”
Phil Bates is Senior Vice-President, Customer Experience at TELUS.