Telstra uses NFC to cut costs and improve customer service for broadband users

Australian telecommunications provider Telstra is now applying NFC tags to all its broadband modems, enabling customers to access personalised help, information and support recommendations by tapping the tag with their NFC phone.

Stepone Bill Gravette
FOCUSSED: StepOne’s Bill Gravette

The company’s Telstra Digital division is using StepOne’s new Contextual Care platform to deliver the service to its broadband customers and expects to be able to use it to both cut costs and improve customer service.

“We’ll be able to save a lot of inbound phone calls to the tech support centre with this kind of technology, so that gives us an immediate cost reduction. But more important is the customer advocacy effect,” says Telstra Digital executive director Gerd Schenkel in a video explaining how the telco plans to take advantage of the technology:

“Each tag is unique,” StepOne’s Bill Gravette explained to NFC World+. “It has a unique QR code, a unique NFC tag, a unique SMS service code and, in our system, we link that to the modem serial number.

“Once it is registered, then we know about that customer and other devices that are in the home. We can start being very targeted about recommendations specific to their networks, specific to what is important to them and specific to their use case.”

Contextual Care is also to be introduced with NFC in a retail environment in the next few weeks, Gravette says. Here, retail agents will give each customer a business card that contains an NFC tag and also carries a QR code, SMS number and a URL.

Customers will then be able to use the cards to access videos explaining how to get up and running with their new product and how to make best use of it.

As NFC becomes more popular, more devices around the home can be scanned using a phone to determine the status of the device, as well as to run diagnostics and maintenance checks, adds Alex Mitchell, president and co-founder of StepOne.

“This is a new means of interacting with a product or service that has not been out there before, and it is a really cool use case for NFC and QR codes,” he explains.

“It is a new means of what I like to call ‘Tap-For-Help’ where you see something in the physical world that you need help with and you just tap it. That is all the interaction required for the user, so when we say it is effortless, it really is a completely new experience compared to how you get help in today’s world.”

Next: Visit the NFCW Expo to find new suppliers and solutions