Community of Experts

  • 2021

  • Service
    Commercial Services

Commissioned By:

Emma McRobert

Designed In:


Community of Experts reinvents what it means to give amazing customer care. It’s a truly customer-centric model and an industry-changing transformation. Every customer is matched to a dedicated team empowered to solve their needs. Community of Experts is Optus’ largest-ever operational transformation, intent on creating lasting customer relationships.

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  • Traditional contact centres are notorious for giving customers the run-around. Customers are forced to navigate complicated phone menus and get bounced between representatives with specialised knowledge. Centred around maximising operational efficiency, this model can come at the cost of the customer experience. We want to become Australia's most loved everyday brand, one that creates lasting customer relationships. We were challenged to go from: - Business centric - Channel specific experiences and teams - Complicated phone menus - Specialist service groups - High transfers To: - Customer centric - Zero transfers - Communities supporting different channels (voice, messaging) - Multiple skillsets (e.g. financial services, service, tech) - Customer experience informing performance

  • We wanted to give our customers amazing care. We designed Community of Experts to exceed all expectations, to give customers the best care experience imaginable. No barriers, no dreaded call-centre run-around - we own and solve it. We created multi-disciplinary, collaborative teams to solve customer needs, including contract renewal, billing assistance, or answering product questions. The best thing is, customers return to the same Community of Experts, with the Expert handling the call or message responsible for the customer's enquiry end-to-end. We implemented Communities after an iterative design and piloting process, with 3,500 employees supporting customers during the COVID-19 crisis.

  • After implementing Community of Experts, Optus recorded sharp jumps in performance. This was especially true for customer experience, with some communities experiencing record-high NPS, Issue Resolution, and record-low Transfer Rate. Our Experts are happier too - we consistently score high in employee engagement thanks to the new model. However, one of the greatest impacts of transforming to Community of Experts was the ability to support customers experiencing hardship after the devastating Queensland bushfires, COVID and the NSW floods.

  • Team Makeup: Previously, Optus had over 100 service groups with specialised skills & channels. Now, each community is skilled in technical support, customer service, and financial services. This minimises transfers as individual Experts can always rely on the teammate next to them. Since all communities in a particular region are co-located in one site, communities can collaborate and share knowledge. Further driving the community spirit are rituals, meetings which maintain employee productivity through peer support, and ensure employees have a voice in the community's development. Sales Collaboration: While there was always some co-operation between Customer Care and Sales, we heavily invested in training Experts to handle sales conversations. We turned communities into growth centres, supported to drive balanced outcomes in our customers' interest, by balancing CX and sales metrics, and led by Community Managers who run their communities like small businesses. Segmentation: Our customers are segmented geographically, with customers being served by their dedicated Community of Experts. Each community will learn all about their segment, from the weather, to the traffic conditions, or the most popular code of football. Regional knowledge is of paramount importance in times of crisis, such as supporting customers through bushfires, or supporting states during COVID lockdowns.