Vodafone, one of the largest global telecom corporates, was fined a whopping £4.6 million by Ofcom for breaking customer rules. Vodafone “failed to act quickly enough to identify or address problems” and only moved to fix the issue after Ofcom intervened, the regulator said.

 

A second investigation found that Vodafone’s customer service agents were not given “sufficiently clear guidance” on what constituted a customer complaint, and poor processes meant some complaints were not handled “in a fair, timely manner”.  The firm also failed to ensure customers were told, in writing, of their right to take an unresolved complaint to a third-party resolution scheme after eight weeks.

In a statement, Vodafone said it had “fully refunded or re-credited” 10,422 pay-as-you-go customers out of the 10,452 affected. It said it was unable to track down the remaining 30 affected.

“Everyone who works for us is expected to do their utmost to meet our customers’ needs,” it said. “It is clear from Ofcom’s findings that we did not do that often enough or well enough on a number of occasions. We offer our profound apologies to anyone affected by these errors.” Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom Consumer Group director, said: “Vodafone’s failings were serious and unacceptable, and these fines send a clear warning to all telecoms companies.

Vodafone said it had invested in better customer service and training. But has it invested in the right technology to provide a world-class contact centre?

The technologies that large corporations need to invest in, if they aren’t already, range from Computer Telephony Integration (CTI), Speech Analytics, Interactive Voice Response, Self Service, Queue Call Back, Speech-based Diallers, Workforce Management, and PCI compliance, to name only a handful.  Speech Analytics and Social Media monitoring tools can help companies understand why people are calling in the first place, assist with real-time training, and ensure compliance among agents.

Speech Analytics is one of the fastest growing segments in the call centre management technology market, and for good reason, too. Through monitoring of both customers and agents, operational and performance issues can be found and managed as well, and problem areas can be addressed well before they get to the point that would result in a company fine.

Talk with IP Integration to learn more about how your company can avoid fines while improving your competitive edge by exceeding customer expectations through customer service excellence.

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