Customer is priority number one, two and three: Telkom CEO

Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko has told staff that customer service is a top strategic priority at the company – and nothing should out-rank “customer first” thinking.

Maskeo was relaying the results of a two day leadership review of the company, in which customer service was seen as a constant in all discussions and evaluations that came up.

The CEO said that Telkom has had “a tough climb”, and noted it still has “much terrain to cover”.

“We’ve reached a point where it serves no purpose to look backward and blame what has come before. We have to deal with the challenges in front of us, and we have to reach the summit as One Telkom.”

The most important of these challenges, Maseko said, is to put customers first.

“Putting the Customer First is the most important priority in Telkom. In fact, the leadership team and I see it as priority number one, two and three.”

“To put it differently: absolutely nothing ranks higher than being responsive to our customers’ needs.”

“In this day and age, nothing beats great customer service,” the CEO said.

Telkom has been engaged in a turnaround strategy since 2013, which has seen the company regain much of the market value lost through its loss-making business practices over the years.

The strategy involves ongoing organisational restructuring and retrenchments, as well as strategic policy shifts such as the customer-first goals expressed by Maseko.

Speaking after the group’s results for the first six months of the 2015 financial year, Maseko said that the company’s performance confirms that the business is on track for future growth.

For the period, Telkom reported a profit after tax of R1.2 billion, from R3.0 billion recorded in the same period in 2013.

This, the group noted, is significantly lower than the previous year and was driven by a one-off R2.173 billion net gain recognised on the curtailment of the post-retirement medical aid liability included in the comparative reporting period, as well as retrenchment, voluntary early retirement and severance package costs of R325 million for 406 employees in the current reporting period.

Net revenue was stable at R13.3 billion, which is a 1.6% increase against the prior comparable period.

“Our multi-year turnaround strategy, which began in 2013, is paying off,” Maseko said at the time.

“We expect that this positive momentum will continue for the remainder of the financial year.”

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Customer is priority number one, two and three: Telkom CEO