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Telstra Company’s Management and Operations Analysis Essay

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Updated: Jun 16th, 2020


One of the more ubiquitous present-day service organizations is the various call centers that handle customer complaints, inquiries, sales, and various aspects related to technical assistance. This particular type of service organization functions as a method of retaining/gaining clients by addressing their concerns and sales inquiries while utilizing company mandated tools in order to resolve the issue presented to them over the phone. In one way or another, nearly all modern-day consumers have interacted with a call center agent, and, as such, this particular service organization serves as a prime example for analysis within this paper.

Service Company that is being examined

Telstra is a well-known telecommunications company that services millions of Australians on a daily basis. Through its mobile, home, TV, and internet services, the company can be considered a ubiquitous aspect of millions of households throughout Australia. Due to its wide range of products and services, the company needed to develop a means by which customers could easily contact the company in order to resolve matters involving service issues or to request the installation of particular services within their home or office. As such, call centers were developed in order to address this demand.

Flow Chart
Flow Chart

Front Stage of Operations

As can be seen from the flow chart indicated above, the front stage of operations of call centers is actually pretty straightforward:

  1. Then comes the spiel of the customer service agent, which involves assurances that the client’s inquiry or concern has been noted and will be resolved.
  2. The first stage is the initial call of the customer, which involves either an inquiry or a problem with a particular product or service.
  3. It is at this point that the agent attempts to resolve the customer’s issue with the tools that they have on hand.
  4. Lastly, once all concerns have been addressed, the customer service agent asks if the client’s issue has been fully resolved.

The backstage of the service encounter centers on time it takes to complete a call and whether or not the customers issue has been resolved. If the time taken to complete a particular call exceeds the limit indicated by the company or if a customer’s issue has not been fully resolved, then it can be stated that the customer service encounter was a failure.

Significance of Service Encounter

The significance of the service encounter in the case of call centers is based on resolving the issue presented by the customer. This can involve ordering a particular item, helping them troubleshoot a particular product or service, and even ranges to answer any inquiries they may have regarding the company’s products and services. Basically, through this service encounter, a company is able to provide customers with a quick and easy method to inquire, order, and resolve their issues, all without having to go to a store and ask a representative physically. Downing (2011) explains the importance of call center service encounters by stating that at present, people have become more inclined towards services that are not only instant but readily available (Downing 2011, pp. 409-425). The more accessible a particular service is to the target market of a company, the greater the likelihood of continued consumer patronage of that company’s products and services.

This is where call centers enter into the picture, by providing service encounters that are quick (all call center agents are told to resolve a customer’s issue within a certain length of time which is usually 8 minutes) and efficient this in effect wastes less time for the customer resulting in greater satisfaction with the company. Walsh et al. (2012) even goes so far to say that call center service encounters act as the front lines of a company’s operations since through their utilization they either increase consumer patronage or retain customers that would have otherwise gone to different companies due to an initial dissatisfaction with a product that could have been resolved if they had been able to talk to a representative to properly resolve their issue (Walsh et al. 2012, pp. 957-967).

Managerial Implications

The managerial implications of this particular type of service encounter take the form of processes meant to ensure interaction quality, the speed by which the customer’s interaction with the phone representative was conducted, and whether or not the customer’s issue was resolved. What you have to understand is that the quality of the call and the rate by which customer service agents are able to address the various concerns of the client affect the way in which a manager addresses customer service issues within a call center (Zhang et al. 2012, pp. 461-474).

For example, if representatives are able to properly address the issues of clients yet have a call backlog of 20 to 30 calls per representative, this is indicative of the fact that the call center manager needs to hire more agents in order to ensure a more stable call backlog of 5 or 3 per agent (being put on hold for long periods of time actually results in greater levels of customer dissatisfaction with a service). Other managerial implications that manifest themselves as a direct result of this service encounter take the form of the ability of agents to achieve the necessary metrics set by the company involving the calls they take (DeNucci 2011, pp. 7-11). A metric is a means by which a manager measures the performance of call center agents based on their ability to achieve a certain degree of operational ability.

This takes the form of how fast it takes them to resolve an issue, the rate by which they are able to resolve an issue as compared to calls that have to be escalated to other departments as well as the overall quality of their interaction with the client. If several agents under the manager’s supervision are unable to reach the necessary rate of performance, it is the manager’s prerogative to either re-train these individuals or fire and replace them since they impact the overall ability of the call center to meet the company performance metrics placed on it. Lastly, in cases where it has been discovered that call interactions have been reduced with more than 20% of agents being idle at any given time is indicative of the necessity to reschedule excess agents to a different time slot due to the inherent wastefulness of having people on the call center floor that are not doing anything (Kim, Kenkel & Brorsen 2012, pp. 314-329).

Reference List

DeNucci, T 2011, ‘How to Put the Quality Back in Call Center Customer Service: Potentials and Pitfalls’, Benefits Quarterly, 27, 2, pp. 7-11, Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost, Web.

Downing, JR 2011, ‘Linking Communication Competence With Call Center Agents’ Sales Effectiveness’, Journal Of Business Communication, 48, 4, pp. 409-425, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, Web.

Kim, T, Kenkel, P, & Brorsen, B 2012, ‘Forecasting Hourly Peak Call Volume for a Rural Electric Cooperative Call Center’, Journal Of Forecasting, 31, 4, pp. 314-329, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, Web.

Walsh, G, Gouthier, M, Gremler, D, & Brach, S 2012, ‘What the eye does not see, the mind cannot reject: Can call center location explain differences in customer evaluations?’, International Business Review, 21, 5, pp. 957-967, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, Web.

Zhang, B, van Leeuwaarden, J, & Zwart, B 2012, ‘Staffing Call Centers with Impatient Customers: Refinements to Many-Server Asymptotics’, Operations Research, 60, 2, pp. 461-474, Business Source Premier, EBSCOhost, Web.

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