BT has promised to boost customer service across its three consumer businesses – BT, EE and Plusnet – and vowed to change the way customers see the core BT brand.
The UK’s oldest and largest telecoms brand has developed a reputation among many current and former users for poor and unresponsive service, and frequently scores poorly in Ofcom and industry customer service and complaints leagues.
Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s consumer division, today told journalists that the company needed to recognise and address its past failings, and change the way it deals with customers to ensure they always feel valued.
After months of trials of co-selling BT branded broadband and TV in selected EE stores, Allera confirmed that the brand would be returning to the high street permanently with dedicated displays in all 620 stores.
Customers will be able to buy new products and get help in any store as part of a new initiative to make BT and its sister brands “local” to consumers.
BT will also be launching a new ‘Keep Connected Promise’ where customers experiencing broadband outages will either have their BT Mobile 4G data allowances boosted to unlimited, ensuring they can stay online, or be sent a new 4G Wi-Fi Mini Hub with unlimited data so they can carry on surfing and streaming while their service is repaired.
Following positive feedback about its new UK-based call centres, BT will now close all overseas sales, accounts and technical support centres and move to a 100% UK and Ireland offering by 2020.
In a candid address to journalists, Allera said customer feedback showed the overseas call centres did not offer the same level of service as those in the UK and that customers were right to demand performance that matched the increasingly vital role broadband and telecoms play in our daily lives.
Combined with the brand’s return to the high street, the executive expressed hope that the move would turnaround customer experience and perceptions.
Sister brands EE and Plusnet are also launching new customer-friendly services, including for EE customers the ability to share mobile data between family members, and a new mobile app for Plusnet that allows customers to manage their account and get help.
EE is also launching a new support app which, with permission, will allow customer service agents to use the camera on a customer’s phone to view problems they’re having with a product or service and provide situation-specific support.
It’s also partnering with Enjoy to offer same-day delivery to a location of the customer’s choice, and personalised set-up of the customer’s new service or device.
Alongside an expansion in the EE retail network, Allera said such innovations would allow his three brands to offer a level of personalised service beyond anything currently available.