Company sticks to its guns and focuses on service

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 13 December, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 13 December, 2007, 12:00am

Companies in the competitive world of telecommunications will take drastic measures to get ahead of their rivals. Usually this means slashing prices and offering more minutes of call time for less cost.

The HKIHRM/SCMP People Management Awards 2007 finalist, City Telecom (Hong Kong), however, has strived instead to win more customers by providing better services.

The company has introduced the Special Duty Unit (SDU) personalised customer care system, a one-stop-shop service where customers encounter one multiskilled staff member who is knowledgeable about all products and services and able to pay attention to all aspects of customer experience.

City Telecom needed to ensure that frontline staff were capable of taking responsibility for maintaining a strong relationship with customers, and to do this put in place several human resources initiatives which it hoped would encourage a sense of responsibility and entrepreneurship in staff.

'We have upgraded our staff mindset from one of customer service to customer ownership and provided the platform for them to perform at the highest level,' said Lai Ni Quiaque, chief financial officer.

The firm made every effort to engage staff, providing a fun office environment, learning opportunities, teambuilding sessions and encouraging open communication and work-life balance.

The company also made sure that staff, most of whom were based in Guangzhou, were paid above the average wage and high performing staff were rewarded with discretionary performance bonuses.

However, the company expects a great deal from its staff. Only 50 per cent of those recruited make it through the mandatory post training certification and underperforming employees do not receive a 13th month payment.

The competitive stance was paying off, Mr Lai said. 'Our customers are buying more from us and this is a direct result of our service leadership.'