David Thodey Photo: Josh Robenstone
Telstra has 60 people combing social media sites to sniff out people who complain about the company.
The telco's chief executive David Thodey said the power of the consumer is greater than ever before and Telstra is playing catch up on customer relations.
"We ourselves have about 60 people who monitor every social media site ... and you can imagine what is said about Telstra," he told a Queensland Media Club lunch in Brisbane.
Mr Thodey said complaints, such as technicians not showing up or poor network coverage, travelled fast and far with just a click of a mouse.
He said Telstra was trying to reach the complainers and help them before the news spreads.
"If you can get ahead of that and say, 'no we are here, we'll talk to you,' [there is] enormous change in terms of customer reaction," he said.
"That is not to say that we get it right every day but we need to be far more dynamic, chat rooms etc, in terms of using this technology."
He said customer service was a challenge for Telstra as it has gone from a monopoly to being forced to compete.
Also, it was easy to make mistakes when each day 100,000 people visited Telstra outlets and technicians made 35,000 home visits.
"So the opportunity to get it wrong is very high," he said.