Fairfax call centre comes home to NZ
‘‘Customers will appreciate that it'll make their lives easier.’’
The Fairfax classified advertising call centre has moved back to New Zealand shores making life easier for local advertisers.
Fairfax’s new inbound call centre, located in Palmerston North, was officially up and running on Monday.
The new Kiwi call-centre is on 0800 767 111 for all classified ads including public notices, situations vacant, wanted to buy, rentals and trades and services.
It means customers calling about classified ads or public notices will no longer be connected to Manila in the Philippines.
Head of CRM and customer data Andrew Hassan said the company had received ‘‘quite a lot of feedback around difficulty understanding what they [customers] needed’’.
Calls were taking longer, which was often frustrating for them, he said.
‘‘We’ve responded to that. Customers will appreciate that it’ll make their lives easier. They’re showing loyalty to our publications and we need to respond to their needs.’’
The move will affect Fairfax newspapers up and down the country, including daily and community publications.
The new call centre will employ two team leaders and 18 sales advisers, who will join the 20 employees at the company’s outbound call centre, which opened a year ago, in the same building as the company’s Manawatu newsroom.
Fairfax publishes community newspapers such as The Hutt News and Upper Hutt Leader, and metropolitan dailies including The Dominion Post, as well as the Stuff website.
Fairfax group sales director Gareth Codd said customer feedback suggested people preferred to deal with sales advisers based in New Zealand.
When the contract with its outbound call centre in the Philippines finished, Fairfax relocated it to Palmerston North. Now the inbound centre has joined it.
‘‘By bringing those two contact centres back onshore, it creates a much greater constancy, better flexibility, and an overall improved customer experience,’’ Codd said.
Fairfax contact centre director Christian Smith said he has received a positive response about the move.
‘‘We’ve had positive feedback from customers coming through to the new Palmerston North team, and we’ll look to maintain and improve that experience as we get better in what we do.’’
Accelerate 25 programme director Craig Nash said Fairfax’s decision reflected a larger trend in call centre jobs. ’’The trend is now for critical [roles] to come back to New Zealand, and Palmerston North is well positioned to take up those jobs.’’