Over the past months, we’ve hired around 2000 new team members across the country so we can answer consumer and small business calls in Australia. It’s another of many changes we’ve made to create a better customer experience.

Our team are your neighbours. They’re located in cities and towns across Australia, including regional hubs like Maryborough, Bunbury and Bathurst. Thanks to hybrid working, this means the person helping you could be in your state, suburb, town or – who knows – even your street. On any given day, nine out of 10 of our consumer and small business service team choose to work at home.

Answering your calls locally

We regularly ask you what you want to see from us. What we heard loud and clear was that you wanted a change in the way we answered our calls, so we did it. It’s a change that also deepens our local expertise.

Liz is answering your calls when she’s not playing for our national rugby team!

Liz, Telstra customer service expert and Australian national female rugby playerWhen Telstra customers call and speak to Liz in Brisbane, what they might not realise is they are talking to Australia’s most capped female rugby player. Liz Patu, 32, earnt her 25th Test cap this year when the Wallaroos took on Japan in May, and is currently training with the national rugby union team for the World Cup in New Zealand later this year. She’s able to do all this with the flexibility of her full-time job in Telstra’s small business call team. Liz joined Telstra two years ago and works her schedule around training and Wallaroos tours.

For quick questions – like checking your bill summary, managing your services or even troubleshooting connection issues – we have the My Telstra app. But for more complex problems or a bit of extra help, you told us you want to speak to someone who gets you. Someone who understands your service history, and knows what you’re going through.

During the Queensland floods earlier this year, we had customers in Brisbane speaking to local team members who understood first-hand the challenges they were facing. Being there – locals helping locals – this motivates our team every day.

Our team reflects our community

Now when you call, you will speak to locals from all over Australia – people who reflect our community and customer base including many who have accents representing our diversity.

2000km from Melbourne to Longreach to help small businesses

Daniel, our contact centre team leader based in LongreachWhen Daniel’s partner Belinda landed her dream job in Longreach, it was a no brainer the couple would make the 2000km journey north from Melbourne with their baby George in tow. But what he didn’t expect was being able to work remotely and expand his call team in the remote heritage town. Daniel, who supports Telstra’s small business customers, has even been able to help out Longreach locals. “It’s the little things where we can make a difference. For example, I took my car into the local smash repair shop and they told me their voicemail wasn’t working. I got that fixed for them, while they fixed my car! Small businesses rely on Telstra to keep them connected, and I love my job helping them do that.”

You might chat to 60-year-old Kaylee from Hervey Bay, a former beloved country publican and prolific community volunteer. Kaylee works from home and has a passion for helping our older customers.

Or perhaps you’ll speak to Liz – that’s if she’s not touring with the Australian Women’s Wallaroos rugby union team. Like many of our team, Liz works flexibly to fit with her national rugby duties – and recently celebrated her 25th cap with the Wallaroos. She’s been with us for two years, and loves helping fellow Maroons’ supporters (and all rugby fanatics).

Or it could be Daniel, who set up our most remote contact centre team from the heart of the outback. Daniel’s based in Longreach, but his team works from home all over Central West Queensland.

Making the right changes for you

This change is all part of our T22 strategy, designed to make life better for our customers.

Four years ago we launched T22 to transform Telstra, and transform customer experience to get rid of the things that frustrated you. Since then, we’ve radically simplified our products, services and contracts and made huge changes like creating seamless digital experiences and introducing no lock-in, simple upfront plans.

Back to the future at 60, with 15 years of customer service over her pub’s public bar

Kaylee, Telstra customer service expert and former publicanAs the owner-operator of a small country pub in Tasmania’s central highlands for 15 years, Kaylee learnt a thing or two about what it means to really listen, and understanding people’s problems with kindness and care. Those are the skills she now brings to Telstra’s customer call team, working from her new home in Hervey Bay. It’s a little bit back-to-the-future for Kaylee, who worked for Telstra in the ’90s as part of the directory assistance team in Hobart.

Now that we have completed T22, our new T25 strategy will build on the work we’ve already done, and continue to improve the way we serve you. That’s why we’re making changes for you – like having our consumer and small business calls answered in Australia, and having Kaylee, Liz, Daniel and thousands of our other local team members answering your calls when you need us.