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Interview With Ulf Michaelis

Best in Class – The strategic improvement programme of Telefónica Germany’s Customer Service & Sales Department.

Ulf, shortly after you took on your role as Director Customer Service & Sales at Telefónica Germany in 2017, you launched the Best in Class strategic improvement programme. Has it developed as you had hoped at the time?

It has even become bigger and better than I had hoped at the time. Back in 2017, it became clear that a holistic approach was needed to enable us to tackle some challenges in a structured and results-oriented way. However, I did not expect that BiC would develop to become the future strategic programme of Customer Service & Sales. It makes me more than proud because it shows a continuous, consistent development driven by many people. Best in Class has become this significant simply because of the strong commitment of everyone involved in this programme.

What was your personal BiC highlight last year?

Each project is incredibly good in itself, has an impact and is measurably successful. One valuable lesson we learned in 2020 and 2021 is that some goals were very ambitious, so we needed more time than initially planned to execute these projects successfully. What excites me the most is the mindset and hands-on attitude with which we persistently pursue these projects. Everyone involved has the ambition to get the best out of it for our customers.

BiC 2021 is entering the home stretch and BiC 2022 is already in the starting blocks. What do you expect from the programme in the upcoming year?

Our goal has not changed. We still work very hard to provide our customers with an excellent service – and to improve it day by day. Now that we have discovered Best in Class as a future strategic programme, we must continue to drive the right and key topics forward. We have to prove the success of each project with concrete data, figures and facts. If we can measure the success of the programme, we can also develop it further.

In 2022, our focus is on the details. In the past, we have already moved a lot of big lumps in Customer Service & Sales. Now it is time for fine-tuning. We have to bring together all projects that have already been initiated to form a successful, sustainable whole.

 

Join Ulf during the 12th Annual Optimising Contact Centres Summit in October where he will be speaking in details about how Telefónica Germany is putting the focus on their customers and their Best in Class Programme.


Ulf MICHAELIS, Director Customer Service & Sales at Telefónica is a manager and leader with many years of extensive experience in setting up, expanding, implementing, restructuring, transforming and developing service and sales centers in various industries (banking, energy, telecommunications). He has extensive experience and track record in the independent implementation of conceptual, cultural and strategic-entrepreneurial challenges in large operational units through goal-oriented, profitable, sales & quality-oriented customer and business measures or programmes as well as in leading managers by example integration (shadow of the leader) and team building. Additionally, he currently focuses on: digitization, automation and AI in the field of service and sales in interaction with agents /customers, agile ways of working in large operational and project-oriented units, new normal after COVID-19.

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