Customer service is key to remaining competitive, which is where customer service centers come in. Recently, the Jakarta Globe spoke with Jay Exconde, who oversees after-sales services as Nokia Indonesia’s customer care manager.
Exconde has been tasked with reshaping and optimizing Nokia Indonesia’s customer service network, which is Nokia’s largest in Southeast Asia.
Exconde started his career at IBM during his last year as an engineering student at Don Bosco Technical College in the Philippines, and continued to work for the company after he obtained his degree. After eight years at IBM, he moved to Nokia in 2007, where he has been ever since. Exconde, 37, lives with his wife and three daughters in Jakarta.
What was your first job and what did you learn from it?
Well, I learned a lot from my first job. I got my start as a cadet engineer in the Philippines with IBM, during my last year of university. It was like a full-time job — work during the day, classes at night. My first job was really in customer service, as an engineer repairing ATM machines — I started repairing IBM machines, mainframes, servers, and even laptops in 1993.
What is the one thing you wish that every new hire knew, particularly in the customer care department?
One word: CARE, which stands for “Customers Are Really Everything.” All the training we’ve done, it all boils down to CARE.
How do you like working in Indonesia and why did you chose the country?
First, I really like the weather here — no typhoons, compared to my home in the Philippines — but the challenges of working in Indonesia are what brought me here in the first place. When I was offered an overseas position, my boss and I were talking about some Asian countries and some European countries. But I’m not so keen on Europe, so when my boss offered Indonesia, I accepted immediately.
Why are there so many Nokia customer service centers?
The reason is because Nokia recognizes the key challenge lies in service accessibility. When Nokia first started operating here, it knew that it needed to be accessible to its customers. That’s one of many reasons why we continue to operate 97 fully branded Nokia care centers and 15 Nokia care-collection points — we have 112 service points across the country. Nokia has more customer-care centers here in Indonesia than it does in any other country in the region.
Is Nokia still opening customer care centers?
Yes, we’re still expanding in certain parts of the country, especially Nokia care-collection centers in smaller, third-tier cities. We currently have 31 Nokia care centers in third-tier cities, such as in Kediri, East Java, and Bukittinggi, West Sumatra. We also have several care centers in fourth-tier cities. In Greater Jakarta, we have 32 Nokia customer care centers. We are aiming to launch 60 more Nokia collection points, so by the end of this year we’ll have more than 170 Nokia customer centers and collection points.
How many complaints do you get?
We’re the biggest handset manufacturer, so of course we get the most complaints, or customer or product feedback. I can’t say how many, but we have a rule that we need to close or resolve problems for customers within three days. Of course sometimes it takes longer than that, but we try to resolve all issues as quickly as possible.
What are your standards for customer care centers?
We ask everybody that works in customer care to focus on customer satisfaction. We use key performance indicators to gauge customer satisfaction and we do a random phone survey every month. We call about 6,000 customers every month to ask them about their views on Nokia’s customer services and we ask them to rate our services.
If a Nokia phone needs to be swapped, we have models in stock here in Indonesia, so we don’t have to wait for shipments from Singapore or other countries. Replacement times depend on where you are — if you’re in Jakarta, maybe you can get a phone replaced in one day, but if you’re in Timika, it could take several days.