Telstra sets new targets

Telstra (ASX: TLS) continues to impress investors, reaching new share price highs, but the company is now shifting its focus to giving customers more.

Yesterday, Telstra’s share price closed at $5.03 after climbing from $2.60 only two years ago and some believe it may go even higher. A prediction that is very possible, just looking at the numbers is evidence enough — 2.1 million 4G devices, 1.6 million bundled customers and a dividend of 5.6%.

Telstra recently said that it has set targets for the level of customer service its franchises and resellers will achieve in order to receive cash bonuses. In an industry where it is normal for companies to pay commissions to shops who sell their products, this move will aim to promote Telstra’s reputation from customers around the country as well. To aid in this goal, Telstra is using a survey to determine and improve its Net Promoter Score, a measure of customer satisfaction.

Telstra said the Net Promoter Score was intended to change “the way customers talk about Telstra”. Chief Executive David Thodey said that the move is a core strategy of the company and he wanted to build a “culture of advocacy”.

The company has done 5 million surveys so far this year but it is not alone. Rivals Optus, owned by Singapore Telecommunications (ASX: SGT) and Vodafone, 50% owned by Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) (ASX: HTA) have both already started doing the survey, which asks customers to rate the customer service performance on a scale from 1 to 10. Recent data showed Vodafone scored as low as -27 at the height of its recent signal outages and network crisis but the Australian industry average is between -1 and 2.

Foolish takeaway

Finding prospective investment opportunities in the S&P/ASX 20 (ASX: XTL) has proved difficult as mining stocks are seen as ‘risky’ and banks and retail stocks are ‘expensive’. Has Telstra done its dash? That’s a complicated question and will relate to whether you plan to invest for the short or long term. Foolish investors know that a sure way to beat the stock market is to focus on the horizon, trying to play the ‘ups and downs’ of market volatility will make your portfolio sea sick. Telstra definitely represents a more promising investment opportunity than its mobile rivals but it might be time to look outside the favourite blue chip stocks and catch a real bargain.

Should you buy, sell or hold your Telstra shares? Get a top analyst’s latest Telstra recommendation in our brand-new investment report: “Is it Time to Sell Telstra?” Click here now, your copy is FREE!

More reading

The Motley Fool’s purpose is to help the world invest, better. Click here now for your free subscription to Take Stock, The Motley Fool’s free investing newsletter. Packed with stock ideas and investing advice, it is essential reading for anyone looking to build and grow their wealth in the years ahead. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. Motley Fool contributor Owen Raszkiewicz does not own shares in any of the mentioned companies.

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