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BT Boosts Customer Support with 1,000 New UK Based Jobs

Monday, January 18th, 2016 (10:51 am) - Score 749
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Last year BT pledged to answer “more than” 80% of its customers’ calls in the United Kingdom by the end of 2016 (here) and today they’ve moved forward with that commitment by announcing the creation of 1,000 permanent UK jobs, which reflect “frontline roles in customer care” to be filled by April 2017.

Apparently BT’s Consumer division has already filled an extra 1,000 roles in its UK contact centres to “enable it to service more of its consumer customers in the UK” and the latest announcement adds another 1,000 on top of that. The new jobs will be spread across the country, although it’s already known that 100 customers service roles will be created in their Swansea department. Extra apprentices and graduates will also be included.

The press release further states that some of the latest batch of permanent jobs will be taken by the “best agency advisors“, who currently carry out BT work via Manpower.

Libby Barr, BT Consumers MD of Customer Care, said:

We announced in September 2015 that BT Consumer is going to answer more than 80 per cent of its customers’ calls in the UK by the end of 2016 and this means we need more people in our UK contact centres.

We will have created 2,000 permanent UK jobs by the end of this process, including agency transfers, which is a fantastic boost for the UK economy and many regions where we are already a significant employer.

Our advisors have recently agreed to support our investment back in the UK by voting to adopt a new work pattern to ensure we have more people available to answer calls in the UK at weekends and in the evenings. This demonstrates the commitment from everyone at BT to work together to improve customer service and to make things easy for our customers.”

It’s fair to say that customer service hasn’t always been BT’s strong point, with many subscribers finding the experience to be problematic and this tends to show via Ofcom’s complaint reports (here) and other studies. A lot of the blame for this is often put at the feet of outsourced call centres and BT hopes to rectify this by bringing related jobs back into the UK.

At present BT claims to be spending “hundreds of millions of pounds” each year on service, while the latest improvements reflect an additional spend of £80m over the next two years to boost performance. Naturally we’ll be keeping a close eye on BT to see if the improvements are reflected in consumer feedback.

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11 Responses
  1. Avatar GNewton

    “It’s fair to say that customer service hasn’t always been BT’s strong point, with many subscribers finding the experience to be problematic and this tends to show via Ofcom’s complaint reports (here) and other studies.”

    Very true! Let’s hope for some improvements in the customer service. This is long overdue. Many of the issues customers faced were caused by Openreach. Will BT’s improved customer service also be able to put more pressure on Openreach to sort out its share of the issues?

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Why are many caused by openreach can you provide links to a table that breaks it down?

    • Avatar FibreFred

      No?

      Is it not possible to backup your accusations ?

    • Avatar GNewton

      @FibreFred: Honestly, I don’t think your question is genuine! If you want to argue, talk to someone else. Otherwise read the reviews whose links your posted 2 days ago.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      It’s very genuine and reasonable. It’s not an argument unless you are trying to turn it into one as a form of distraction.

      You stated many of the issues are caused openreach I’m asking what you are basing that on.

      If there’s no evidence to back it up why post it as no one will believe you

      Can you post a link to some evidence that shows that most issues are down to openreach?

  2. Avatar Shane

    It’s about time. I’ve never been with BT based on their customer service. I subscribed to them recently (2 weeks ago) and i’ve had some real issue recently with talking to the call centre and them not being able to communicate as effectively.

    That doesn’t mean that UK/English as a first language call centres are any better.

    When you pay minimum wage and attract low skilled workers or students, you get people who don’t give a dam.

    I’ve dealt with some call centres in India and the UK that have been top notch, clear and precise with what steps will be taken next. One of them being Nationwide….I praise them for their CS…..Three mobile have upped their game too.

    I’d rather a competent call centre over a UK call centre. It’s not the location it’s the staff.

    I would also suggest attracting people who are ‘switched on’ by paying a higher wage and requiring some sort of intelligence would limit the amount of call backs (15 times in 5 days with BT currently)and thus saving money/staff requirements as you get an answer the first time round.

    thoughts ?

    • Avatar rogTM

      O2 used to do psychometric testing as part of their recruitment process in 2009. I went through it and it was for this very reason

      If you can do that – you can do 1 contact resolution which is also what they aim for.

  3. Avatar GNewton

    It’s worth pointing out, in all fairness, that a portion of the customer service issues are also caused by Openreach, see e.g. the Poor 3.9 of 10 rating on https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.openreach.co.uk.

    See also some recent examples just from the past few days highlighting this:

    https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/bt.com/569d03dc0000ff000930e154
    https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/bt.com/569b94b90000ff0009308a6d
    https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/bt.com/569793e60000ff00092f7dd3
    https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/bt.com/5693d13c0000ff00092e4865
    https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/bt.com/568c270c0000ff00092c5b50

    or even from ISPReview:

    http://www.ispreview.co.uk/review/reviews/6304.html
    http://www.ispreview.co.uk/review/reviews/6297.html

    So unless the new support stuff is qualified enough to also address the Openreach issues and shield the end-customers from some of its woes, it won’t be sufficient. It is interesting to note that some ISP like Xilo and AAISP are much capable of doing just that.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      So in summary you’ve pulled a few posts from a review site and that is how in-depth your analysis and breakdown goes is it?

      Ok… no surprise 🙂

      Based on your comments I was expecting a table of BT ISP complaints with a cause analysis linked to areas including Openreach with Openreach being top or close to the top of the table, it seems I over estimated your “evidence”

  4. Avatar GNewton

    The saying is true: You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

    About 25% to 30% (probably just the tip of the iceberg) of the Trustpilot BT review customers make mention of landline issues, Openreach engineers, etc

    The information is out there. Whether potential customers listen to the warning signals is up to them.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      Ok so based on your source material (TrustPilot)

      About(no science but let’s go with it) 25-30% of customers mention landline issues.

      So this:

      “Many of the issues customers faced were caused by Openreach”

      Should actually read

      “The minority of the issues customers faced were caused by Openreach.”

      Because 25-30% is not many or the majority http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/many

      It’s good to see after a bit of digging there’s no truth in your many comments about Openreach

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