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Accenture uses a unique blended learning solution to help Telstra’s retail operations become more customer-centric, and thus support its drive to retain its competitive advantage and ultimately attain high performance.
Telstra is Australia’s leading telecommunications and information services company. It offers a full range of telecommunications services, including more than 8.3 million fixed line and 12.2 million mobile services to customers across the country. Employing more than 39,000 people worldwide, Telstra handles over 300,000 calls daily at its contact centers, and operates and maintains 11,000 telephone exchanges. In fiscal 2011, the company handled 3.6 billion local calls, 5.4 billion national long-distance minutes, 9.9 billion text messages and more than 13 billion mobile voice minutes—reaching $25 billion in sales revenue.
Telstra Country Wide (TCW) is the face of Telstra and manages more than 5,000 points of presence through Telstra retail stores, licensees and dealers across the country. The previous induction program was limited in its delivery of baseline product knowledge and alignment with Telstra’s objectives. In addition, new retail staff were inducted in metropolitan locations while staff from rural areas often missed out.
The program’s inconsistency and other limitations impacted the retail customer experience offered by Telstra. The program’s limitations also contributed to attrition that exceeded industry standards.
To retain its competitive advantage by improving speed to competence, enhancing customer-centricity and enabling successful retail footprint expansion, TCW teamed with Accenture to redesign and implement the Platinum Induction program for its retail workforce.
The three-week Platinum Induction program developed by Accenture focuses on enhanced customer service and productivity levels for people at Telstra’s retail outlets. Accenture incorporated the “Take ownership, Action commitment, Get it right the first time (TAG)” philosophy to align the program with Telstra’s business strategy of putting the customer first.
Accenture redesigned the induction curriculum in order to develop a consistent solution that would improve training effectiveness and achieve significant improvement in the speed of competence for new trainees. A highly experienced team of Accenture consultants redefined training blueprints and operational strategies to ensure the training was positioned for success.
The induction is co-facilitated by an Accenture instructor and a retail capability specialist. These specialists are a group of top store staff seconded to provide retail coaching and experience. This program design element is consistently called out for its effectiveness in equipping new staff for day one.
To reach learners across Telstra’s operations in Australia, Accenture set up an extensive logistics network that transports computer hardware, telecommunications equipment and other material required for the program across the country. This allows Telstra to conduct 15 concurrent induction and other training sessions across the country.
TCW expects the program to sustain the company’s business strategy until fiscal 2014. Accenture keeps the program updated and relevant to the business through an efficient maintenance process that provides frequent critical updates.
As a result of the Accenture program, the trained retail staff demonstrated higher productivity (30 percent) in their first few weeks post training. Consequently, retail stores with a higher percentage of trained staff outperformed others in sales and customer service metrics.
The program had a positive impact on TCW’s retail effectiveness, and more than 850 inductees were trained through this program in fiscal 2011. The numbers are expected to grow again in fiscal 2012 in support of Telstra’s retail footprint expansion.
The program also instilled greater confidence among employees, demonstrated by a 17 percent reduction in attrition in 2011. Today TCW has a well-trained team that meets Telstra customers’ diverse requirements and the company’s customer service objectives. This brings the company closer to its mission of delivering customer service excellence, and understanding and demonstrating value to its customers.
The Telstra-Accenture Platinum Induction program was a finalist in the “Organisational Learning Effectiveness” category at the 2011 Australian Institute of Training and Development Training Excellence Awards.
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