PlusNet Comms to help crack CSC crush

Article posted on Wednesday, 24-May-2006 20:10 PM

Following the launch of the BT "up to 8mbps" DSLMax products, the PlusNet customer support centre (CSC) has seen a dramatic increase in support queries and phone calls. This has led to a significant increase in response times, and also a marked increase in customer frustration.

In response to this, PlusNet today announced that the Comms Team will be reducing their presence in the on-line communities and working with the CSC "for at least the next week or so"

The announcement (a copy of which is reproduced at the end of this article) was made by Ian Wild, Customer Communications Manager, and it is hoped that this move will allow the highly- experienced comms team to handle the more complicated and technical queries that have often been subject to "ticket tennis."

When asked about this move Carol Axe, Head of Customer Service, said "Right now our top priority is providing excellent customer service and giving the right quality of responses to customers. We're doing everything we can to address the backlog on faults relating to BT IPStream Max upgrades. Our priority is helping customers who are unable to connect get back online."

Whilst the PlusNet UserGroup welcome this move, and hope that this will indeed reduce the backlog, we will also be working with PlusNet to see where improvements in customer service can be made so the comms team can return to the community as soon as possible.

PlusNet Announcement:
Hi Folks,

As I’m sure readers of this forum will be aware, over recent weeks our support centre has been receiving a much higher volumes of calls and questions (previously known as tickets) than normal. A lot of these additional contacts have come from customers who are experiencing difficulties following Max upgrades, and we are working through the reported issues as quickly as we can. Because of the extra workload we are experiencing, we have not been responding to tickets or phone calls as effectively as we would like. As a result, people are (understandably) raising additional queries in order to chase outstanding issues and flagging questions in this forum which we haven’t managed to address in a timely enough fashion.

Everyone therefore can, I am sure, appreciate the need for us to prioritise the clearing up of the open questions, with a view to answering them as quickly as possible. With that said, we recognise that the quality of the answers that our customers receive is more important than the speed of a response. This is an area we are focussing on with all of our staff, and a very strong emphasis is being placed on ensuring that we deal with all outstanding queries fully and with the care and attention our customers expect. The present issue in the CSC is not short-staffing, it is about the number of complex queries, mainly due to Max upgrades, that has caused a backlog. In trying to address this backlog quickly sometimes responses are too short and not of sufficient quality, which leads to repeat questions and escalations which compounds the backlog. We are also reviewing the automated responses that our system generates as these can sometimes confuse customers and cause further questions.

In order to help with this, a number of experienced employees from across the business are being drafted into the Customer Support Centre temporarily to assist with providing quality responses to outstanding open customer questions. The comms team form a body of experience with a wide range of issues and they are needed to assist with this effort. As such, for at least the next week or so, we will be reducing our profile across all public forums and focussing the people we have here on answering outstanding questions and helping to diagnose and resolve some of the more complicated customer questions that we have open.

It is important for me to point that that these forums were never intended for individual fault escalations, and the main role of the comms team is to monitor these discussion groups looking for wider patterns of problem reports, as well as collecting more general feedback from our customers. We will continue to monitor the forums during this time, but I hope everyone can appreciate why our responses here will be much less frequent during the next week or so.

By significantly improving the quality of question responses this will help clear the backlog which in turn will reduce call waiting times as we know at present more than 30% of calls are from customers chasing question responses.

We would like to thank customers for their support and patience during this particularly busy time for us. We are confident that we can deliver improvements to our support service quickly, and by focussing our resources in this was we believe we can bring question and call response times back to normal levels very quickly. We will report on our progress with this further next week.

With Regards,

Ian Wild
Customer Communications Manager
Article last edited on Monday, 20-Aug-2007 22:34 PM