Spark is ramping up efforts to cater to the country’s increasingly diverse population. The digital services company today announced it has joined a handful of New Zealand organisations with a verified account on popular Chinese social networking platform WeChat. Through the platform, English and Chinese language speakers will be able to safely access key information such as store locations, product and service information and business support.
The new customer service channel will be managed by Spark’s One World team – an Auckland-based Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean speaking customer service centre that has been running for the past eleven years.
Spark’s CEO Home, Mobile and Business, Jason Paris, said:
“This is the first time New Zealand telecommunications services can be accessed in Chinese and English through WeChat, a channel which has seen phenomenal growth over recent years. For billions of people worldwide it’s the hub through which they meet people, find services, buy things, book appointments and carry out almost every kind of online activity, all through one app. We wanted to ensure that the way we do business is moving with this new paradigm, and that we’re showing up in useful ways where our customers are.
“China is a world leader in digital innovation and WeChat is a great example of that. It’s being tipped by many as a guide to how the internet will develop in the future as our behaviours become more mobile-based. For us this is a great opportunity to learn new ways of doing things and then bring them into the broader Spark digital ecosystem.”
Knight Hou, Spark’s Manager of Emerging Markets, is leading the project alongside broader initiatives in this area, which he says are fast becoming necessary for New Zealand businesses:
“New Zealand is a diverse country – the last census tells us that 20 percent of us are born outside New Zealand, and Aotearoa is home to over 160 languages. If we’re really going to improve the experience all New Zealanders have with Spark, it’s important for us to better understand our diverse customer base. To do this, we’re changing the way we gather customer feedback.
“Until now we’ve collected and analysed feedback in English. As this plays a critical role in helping us shape the customer experience Spark provides today and tomorrow, feedback will very soon be actively sought in some of the other key languages spoken by New Zealanders: simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Hindi and Korean.
“We’re also working to make our multilingual store and business hub staff more accessible to customers. Recently, we’ve introduced language flags to our store fronts so that customers can clearly see the language options they have with us.
“These initiatives are a small but important piece in what is a rapidly developing area for Spark, and New Zealand businesses in general.”