Telstra opens new Sydney Customer Insights Centre as it looks to cement tech credentials

The Insights Ring at Telstra's new Insights Centre

The Insights Ring at Telstra’s new Insights Centre

Telstra has undertaken a multi-million dollar revamp of its Customer Insights Centre as it looks to showcase its credentials as a future-facing tech company buy providing a more immersive experience, as it looks to build on its position as a partner to its clients.

The new 3,600 square metre facility is segmented into different stages and is designed to give customers a “glimpse of two minutes into the future” according to head of segment marketing Andy Bateman, whose division has spearheaded the massive refurbishment of the second floor of the telco’s flagship George Street offices.

Inside it comes replete with a “world first”  insights ring, an unbroken 360 degree display made from nano lumens, to show insights the company has gleaned about customers, whilst it also has a fully functioning TV studio which will be rented out to clients and a 300-seat theatre space with a state of the art sound system.

Bateman said whilst the centre was primarily for its work with clients they hoped it would also be a “profit centre” for the business, with a new corporate restaurant available for staff to use with clients. He added the “close rate with clients is significantly better” once they had been  

The new 300 seat theatre

The new 300 seat theatre

“We are actually a client of Telstra,” said Bateman. “We have a separate network and a separate power bill and things like that.”

As part of the process customers are questioned about their needs and business practices two weeks prior to their visit, with that information passed to strategists who devise a personalised tour through several different zones, starting with the insights ring, moving to the ‘vision gallery’, where they are shown things from a robot to wearable technology and 3D printers as a showcase of technology already hitting the market.

Clients are taken through the ‘library’ where they “dig into business issues” facing them, while the new ‘expo zone’ sees Telstra create what it sees as the solutions of the future for the client, for example setting up what the banking branch of the future might look like in terms of the customer experience.

Along with its Melbourne counterpart the old centre in the same building handled 9,700 separate client meetings last year, and Bateman said he expected that number to increase substantially, after doubling the number of staff in the new premises.  It is open for small business customers right up to the “top end of town” according to Bateman.

The new 4K studio setup will be used by Telstra for internal video briefings being sent to staff, but will also be hired out to external clients. Similarly the new theatre, which has a “near 4k screen” according to Bateman, can be hired out by corporate clients.

The restaurant is open to staff with clients

The restaurant is open to staff with clients

Bateman flagged it could also be used as part of the Thanks customer rewards program – giving fans a chance to have intimate performances from musicians among other things.

Brendon Riley, the group executive of global enterprise services, said the move was part of Telstra’s push to “get a lot more of the outside in”.

He said it also provided them with an opportunity to save money for the company as a whole by using the new facilities instead of external providers, and flagged the telco would be consolidating staff from some of its other central Sydney locations into the George Street building.

Alex Hayes


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