Survey finds BNZ call centres best in NZ

Bank of New Zealand's call centres have been judged the best in the country, following a nationwide survey by Startel Teleperformance. The global teleservices provider included 86 New Zealand companies in the survey. Bank of New Zealand is now competing against the top 2000 call centres in the world in a global survey.

Bank of New Zealand's call centres have been judged the best in the country, following a nationwide survey by Startel Teleperformance. The global teleservices provider included 86 New Zealand companies in the survey.

Bank of New Zealand is now competing against the top 2000 call centres in the world in a global survey by Startel's international affiliate Paris-based Teleperformance International (an international telemarketing and teleservices group). The results should be known by the end of month.

For the past 10 years Teleperformance International have conducted the Grand Prix Customer Service Awards survey, which provides an annual "snap-shot" of how companies are responding to customer enquiries over the telephone around the world. The object of the survey is to measure the quality of service delivered by businesses over the telephone and to raise awareness of the impact this has ontheir image.

The New Zealand survey covered all key aspects from call handling efficiency to the knowledge, skill and friendliness of the call centre staff, through to their ability to sell a product. Of the 90 New Zealand companies that were invited to participate in the 1999 survey, 84 agreed to be included, and 1684 evaluations were completed. It was based on 25 anonymous calls to each company's call centre. Winners were judged in 10 industry sectors, with BNZ being the overall winner, followed by Ansett New Zealand and Toyota New Zealand.

BNZ managing director Mike Pratt attributes the win to a number of call centre innovations by the bank such as regular customer satisfaction sampling and the introduction of the US-developed Advanced Performance Management Programme, focusing on call quality and staff development.

"These steps have been important but ultimately it's the performance of our people - in particular those who take and make the calls - that's [made] the difference."

The bank has 250 staff members in call centres in Auckland and Wellington, which handle an average of 1.1 million calls per month.

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