The customer is king: AlintaGas

Tuesday, 30 March, 1999 - 22:00
EFFECTIVE customer relationship management is the key to a successful call centre, says AlintaGas customer services coordinator and chairperson of the Australian Teleservices Association John D’Arcy.

“Many people don’t realise it, but we monitor the incoming calls with particular attention to waiting time,” he said.

“The AlintaGas policy is to answer 80 per cent of calls within 20 seconds, which we regularly exceed. 99 per cent of our calls are answered in less than 100 seconds.

“But we don’t just focus on the satisfied customers — if even one person has had to wait for two minutes, we will find out why and devise a solution to resolve this.

“We used to average 1.6 calls per customer per annum, but this has gone down to 1.11, indicating that we are providing what the customer wants in less time.

“And while our call centre employees are meant to be as efficient as possible, we want each call to receive due attention so the callers' needs are completely met. ‘First time call resolution’ is the main goal. The quality of service is just as crucial as speed of response.”

AlintaGas monitors the quality of customer service through independent surveys undertaken by David Hides Consulting Group. This quarter, AlintaGas has achieved a 94 per cent call centre customer satisfaction rate.

The company won the state prize in the 1998 Australian Customer Service Association Awards and was highly commended in the national awards.