Telecom is shifting 250 contact centre jobs from New Zealand to the Philippines. Telecom will restructure six of its contact centres, with the loss of 250 positions to Manila over the next 18-months.
Alan Gourdie, CEO of Telecom Retail, acknowledged today that the past year had been a time of uncertainty for staff in the New Zealand-based call centres, particularly at the company’s Hamilton operation.
“We have communicated openly and regularly with staff throughout the trials. Feedback on the proposed structure will now be sought over the next two weeks, with a final contact centre structure to be confirmed by early March.”
If the proposed model is confirmed, Telecom will work to ensure that affected staff will be redeployed within the company or offered support to find other roles.
Redundancies are expected to be kept to a minimum, he says.
The move follows a year of trials and research, looking at the impact on customers’ experiences from offshoring several Telecom contact centres, the company says. Telecom decided to retain its largest contact centre operations, 123 and *123, in Hamilton.
"In the case of 123 and *123 the trial data did not show us the consistent performance we needed to see in order to be comfortable with a large-scale offshoring of that operation," says Alan Gourdie, CEO of Telecom Retail.
In other areas, where specific, technical knowledge was particularly important — such as broadband support helpdesk — offshore staff have delivered "strong results" for New Zealand customers, he says.
The offshore operation recorded Telecom's highest ever level of customer satisfaction for broadband support in December, he says.
The results of the trials have been announced to staff.
When the migration of these roles is complete, Telecom will have around 1,600 contact centre positions in New Zealand, and 700 positions outsourced in Manila, says Gourdie.