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.’’

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