Australian Internet service provider iiNet has renewed its contact centre outsourcing agreement with Merchants, the contact centre division of Dimension Data, for the next three years.

With revenues of over A$400m (about R2,8-billion) and more than 1 300 employees across Perth, Sydney, Auckland and South Africa, Perth-based iiNet supports over 750 000 broadband, telephony and dialup services across Australia.
The centre, which was established in Cape Town, is iiNet’s fourth operation and accommodates 144 agent seats, with a total staff complement of close to 200.
iiNet’s decision to set-up a customer service centre in South Africa is part of the company’s ‘follow-the-sun’ approach, allowing the company to provide 24-hour customer service from staff operating out of local, agreeable working hours.
According to Lisa Roos, business development manager at Merchants, the contact centre was initially sold on a Develop, Build, Operate and Transfer (DBOT) basis, where Merchants would initially build and operate the centre for 12 months and then transfer complete control of the centre over to iiNet.
“This is the approach that Merchants adopts with all of its clients,” she says. “It allows the client to be involved in the process of building and running the contact centre, while eliminating the risks associated with the initial set-up and potential teething problems that may occur.”
But, as iiNet’s MD Michael Malone points out, based on the success of the centre’s operation over the past year and Merchants’ ability to deliver measurable levels of customer satisfaction, iiNet saw a solid business case for leaving the operational component of the contact centre in Merchants’ hands.
“iiNet has very high standards when it comes to measuring its contact centres’ performance, with customer satisfaction being the only true indication of success. If our customers are not satisfied, then neither are we,” he says.
iiNet uses the Net Promoter Score (NPS) methodology to measure customer ratings. NPS is a measure of service quality which makes it is possible for every interaction, every experience and every customer to be tracked and given a voice, leading to remarkable business benefits for forward-thinking operations. Getting ratings of 9 and 10, which is what you need to achieve the desired level of customer satisfaction, are difficult to achieve.
 “Merchants have consistently helped iiNet achieve high Net Promoter Scores, which speaks volumes about the level of service that our agents have been giving iiNet customers in all areas of support,” says Michael.