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BT Consumer to answer 80 per cent of calls in UK by end of 2016
Friday 18 September 2015 16:52:12 by Andrew Ferguson

BT Consumer which is the arm of BT that looks after the retail operations in the BT Group and thus are the people responsible for providing the key support role to millions of UK telephone and broadband customers.

The goal as announced today is that by the end of 2016 over 80% of calls received will be answered in the UK and with further recruitment to push past this figure.

Off-shoring of call centres was driven by cost originally but as salaries overseas have continued to increase the balance is changing hence why firms like BT have already added 1,000 extra service roles in the UK. Irrespective of any language or accent barriers one big advantage has to be that with agents based in the UK, they might have experience of UK broadband at home.

"When we launched BT Mobile earlier this year we located customer service in the UK and our customers have valued that. We think doing this for our other products is one way in which we can boost the service that we offer customers.

This move will secure thousands of existing UK jobs and create new UK jobs.

Our offshore partners have provided a good level of service for our customers and we will still have offshore partners to help us to deliver various campaigns and services.

However, we believe that now is the right time to commit more investment to the UK and that this is something that customers will appreciate."

John Petter, chief executive of BT Consumer

Of course whether the service will be better depends a lot on what tools are available to service agents, if they continue to be totally script driven then customer service levels may not see much of an improvement.


Posted by Spud2003 about 1 year ago
BT have a number of problems with call centres. Firstly it takes about 15-20 minutes typically to get through to staff, secondly although overseas call centre staff speak English they often have trouble comprehending the _exact_ customer problem - or sometimes just aren't knowledgeable.
Posted by Kr1s69 about 1 year ago
Excellent news. My employer has an Indian call centre and they're 10x better than BT's. I can't help but think BT pinched every penny when offshoring and went for the cheapest in India.
Posted by mitchja about 1 year ago
British is not always best though when it comes to call centres....Sky and EE both spring to mind, nether of which have particularly good UK based call centre staff.

The whole level 1 staff that can never deal with issues so then have to pass you to level 2 staff (hoping they don't cut you off during this process which often happens) really gets on my wick, especially when you have to explain any issues multiple times to multiple people.

What exactly do level 1 staff at both Sky and EE actually do as they never seem to be able to deal with anything???
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
Isn't Plusnet a part of BT Consumer? That probably offsets a proportion of the Indian call centre work immediately.
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
The point of level 1 staff is to take the trivial issues, leaving more complex stuff to the more knowledgeable, and better paid, level 2 staff. Who, quite frankly, would get bored if they had to deal with level 1 issues.

It is quite possible that your own personal expertise means you handle level 1 issues yourself, and only ever resort to your supplier for issues that are already beyond their level 1 staff.

Like me, you probably find that your first task is to just get past level 1.
Posted by keith969 about 1 year ago
Fact is that that pay in the UK is falling behind other countries, yet skills are still relatively high, and language of course better.

It's a well known fact that offshoring increasingly does not offer a business benefit. It may be slightly cheaper but it pisses off your customers no end.
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
AFAIK Plusnet is 'owned' by BT... support & reliability seems better that BT etc, going by this sites reports..
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
Its the BT support that makes it bad... If you have changed 'ownership' of your BT line to sky, the support is *much* better..
A friend has Plusnet, and is very happy with it.. but he is a very low user...
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
yes, The point of level 1 staff is to help those who have no clue *what* an 'internet plug' or 'computer' is!

Posted by Royahoward about 1 year ago
what is an internet plug ?? After being on line since 1982 I still don't know that one !
Posted by Michael_Chare about 1 year ago
It helps the economy if the work is done in the UK, rather than imported.
Posted by bob_orton about 1 year ago
Sky's Indian call centre staff are no better than BT's.

I recall an incident several years ago, when a farmer who was cutting a hedge managed to cut the overhead telephone line to my house. My phone went dead and I could see the severed wire, blowing in the wind.

TalkTalk's Indian personnel refused to pass the report to BT Openreach, until they had completed every item on their check-list, which included telling me to disconnect all extension phones and Sky receivers, and asking me to listen for a dial tone and trying to make a call.

If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
Posted by radiomarko about 1 year ago
I had a similar situation a few years ago when I was stupidly using a BT supplied router for a while, the PSU blew out, literally with a hole and smoke... level 1 did the script stuff whilst I dutifully put my feet up and pretended to do their bidding with appropriate sound effects and exclamations. Level 2 got the message. So UK or India it's all down to the level of training, skills and tools available to the staff.
Posted by michaels_perry about 1 year ago
One of the biggest problems with BT's Indian call centre is that they do not understand UK law.We had ADSL with an expected speed of up to 4 Mbps. We rarely got better than 2 Mbps. When we complained we were told that as we were getting better than 1 Mbps they were fulfilling the contract. Even when it was pointed out that BT requires at least 50% of the expected speed they ignored it. Only when we got to a moderator di we get any real help and 3.4 Mbps internet.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
Interested in reading more on which UK Law means you should expect at least 50% of the expected speed.
Posted by michaelkenward about 1 year ago
Since when was "expected speed" a legal obligation? BT talks of "an estimate of the maximum broadband speed your line will support". It would be nice to have a pointer to a different legal opinion.
Posted by dsf58 about 1 year ago
"BT Consumer to answer 80 per cent of calls in UK by end of 2016"

Wow, not much hope of answering 80% of calls within 4 rings then!
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
Royahoward: you must be joking!!!
I am sure you know what a 'mains plug' is???

Even your dear old granny knows that it is something that 'makes the TV work'...
When she pulls it out to do the hoover, and you complain that you were watching the big game!! :)

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
@comnut you did say 'internet plug' originally, which is hardly the best way to describe a mains plug.
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
andrew, I am ashamed of you!!!

Or even

That contains Registered Jack plug version 11 & 45...
Posted by dandodex about 1 year ago
With all due respect, but you must be the only person that calls it "internet plug"
Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
dandodex : so what do you call it??? :)

you are lucky to not have people with 'little brains' to deal with!! (I have 30 years experience with them :( )

Posted by comnut about 1 year ago
well you had a day, given up??? :)
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