“There is no doubt therefore that this is the right time to also be thinking differently about our customer service in the future. Of the things that we have implemented temporarily to help us through this period, what can we make permanent?
“Our aspiration is that by the end of our T22 program all in-bound calls from these customers to us will be answered in Australia,” Mr Penn said.
However, the overall composition of the Australian call centre workforce is expected to be substantially smaller, with Telstra keen on customers using digital options, like its ‘My Telstra’ app.
While Telstra declined to disclose the total number of call centres at its disposal locally, Mr Penn said that more than 70 per cent of the telco’s customers were using digital options.
Meanwhile, Telstra’s offshore call centre footprint could also be curtailed, with fewer operators needed in the Philippines and India to manage the digital chat and messaging channels.
Telstra on Thursday also announced that it had become Australia’s first fully ‘carbon neutral’ telco, with Mr Penn saying it had to rely on overseas carbon reduction projects to hit its target ahead of schedule.
The telco announced plans to become the country’s first carbon neutral telco by the end of the year in March, and Mr Penn said on Thursday it had already received the formal certification from the federal government’s Climate Active Program.
However, he said Telstra hadn’t been able to source all of the necessary carbon credits in Australia. “Our experience has been that it is extremely difficult to purchase carbon offsets from projects located in Australia.”
“This is something that needs to be addressed because what it says is that there are not enough projects contributing to a reduction in greenhouse emissions.”