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Customer Support update - Discussion

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Customer Support update - Discussion

Following Ian's announcement here

Please keep all related discussion to this thread.
59 REPLIES
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Customer Support update - Discussion

I think it is nice to see feedback and the way they handle things.

However, nothing is mentioned as to how they put in orders for maxdsl.

That is poor. I could have somebody on plusnet customers of 3 months connection getting maxdsl before me! I just do not get it. Surely, time of service should be taken into account?
Ah well, other than that, a good post.
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Customer Support update - Discussion

I understand your point, but the post is not about specific issues, but is dealing with support provision and the fact that PlusNet are working towards drastic improvement in the level and quality of the support services it offers.

This is a deeper issue which requires attention and action.
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Customer Support update - Discussion

I am saying that it is a good answer to dealing with cs support issues. However, I would not phone personally except as a last resort but i have had no reason to as I am very experienced in dealing with connection issues etc.

However, the masdsl issue is very badly handled. There is no way plusnet can deny this - and NOT emailing customers with regards to regrades is pathetic! just my pennys worth. Come on Brazil - I am not really moaning as I love footy and the world cup is a fantastic experience! so the misery of poor service can wait!!!
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Customer Support update - Discussion

I think this is good news at last. PN owning up to the mistakes that have been made on the CS side and taking steps to fix them.
Hopefully we can get back to having a good ISP with technically skilled CS, instead of one that is no different from all the others.
jagger
Grafter
Posts: 411
Registered: 25-06-2007

Customer Support update - Discussion

I've got to admit that I've been unhappy with plusnet since last year.Before that,thay were a top class outfit with superb support.So it is nice to see the emphasis changing back to this business model.

I think this is a smart reaction to all the problems that we the customers have faced over the last few months and shows that Plusnet do have the capacity to learn from their mistakes.

I do hope that the words become deeds because,as Ian Wid mentioned,Plusnet were great before they let it slip.That is a sentiment that I fully agree with and second.

They will also still be good value for a fair spectrum of net users if and when these changes are implimented.

Ten out of ten for joined up thinking Plusnet. Glad to know that your left and right hands are going to become reacquainted.Can't wait. Smiley
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Customer Support update - Discussion

One bit of the announcement stuck out a bit:
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We have also allowed recent recruitment drives to bring down the overall skill level within our support centre.

Makes it sound like any recent new staff members don't know what they are doing.
Simon_M
Grafter
Posts: 684
Registered: 05-04-2007

Customer Support update - Discussion

Wow!! Well, reading between the lines of Ian's post I would guess that some battles that were lost 15-18 months ago have now been won. Thank heavens for that.

It's a tough world trying to be a mass market ISP & there are enough of them out there with deep pockets to win market share from the un-educated punter.

So if you are not the biggest, you need to be the best. There has to be a place for a high quality, value for money service aimed at the customer who can tell the good from the bad. Plusnet used to hit that market spot on & it's why I was always a happy customer.

I wouldn't want to underestimate the problems of scaling up a support operation as the company grows, but lets hope the lessons of the last year have been learned & that those who understand what is needed are now allowed to get on with the job.

Good luck team - go for it.

Simon
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 16,283
Thanks: 1,710
Fixes: 115
Registered: 06-04-2007

Customer Support update - Discussion

I have been with PN for some time and until recently have been satisfied with the service and support. There was only one issue recently that gave me problems and I still feel that I never have received a satisfactory reply - but that doesn't need to be discussed here.

If PN are serious about the announcement then I am going to make a bold statement in that this is something that we, as customers can help with in the short term.

We all want PN to return to how they were and, to this end, I think we can all help.

My suggestion is thus:

Once it is clear in what plans James has laid out in his announcement soon maybe we could allow PN to concentrate on those customers who are experiencing the worst problems and difficulties i.e those will no conneftion or the slowest speeds.

Other problems, which we have all experienced like VMBU reports, not enough bandwidth, etc. are troublesome and annoying but do not exactly stop our use of the system. I am not saying don't report these issues but give PN a little more time to deal with the greater issues first.

Please don't shoot me down in flames for this - I am not a businessman, just a customer who wants his favourite ISP back at the top where it belongs.

Maybe someone else has better ideas than me - lets all work on this together because, in the long run we will all benefit.

Cheers

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

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Customer Support update - Discussion

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Hopefully we can get back to having a good ISP with technically skilled CS, instead of one that is no different from all the others.

That doesn't concur with my experience with two other ISPs. In those cases, the CS was acceptable. In PlusNet's, it's been below par.
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Update

Sound approach. Openness much appreciated.

Would like +Net to make transparent the role of BT as "service provider" and the responsibility BT have for the problems encountered.

It seems that BT has a lot of questions to answer relating to the MaxDSL fiasco and they are at present hiding behind the ISP coat-tails.

In particular, there seems to be a pattern emerging of blanket adjustments to SNR by BT affecting sync rates and therefore MaxDSL connection speeds that have not been explained.

How does feedback about MaxDSL get to BT and how does BT let customers know about problems they have caused?
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Realistic measurements of quality?

Hi,

I am very pleased to read Ian's announcement, It is exactly what we and Plusnet need!

From my own experiences as a support engineer, the best way to reduce customer complaints and queue times is to employ your best engineers on the call desk , instead of the usual support centre parrots.

It will cost more in wages to employ higher skilled people, but you will need fewer of them because they will close more calls in a shorter time!

Plusnet should also institute training programs to bring all their support people to the same high level

How many times have you read in these forums of the gratitude of a +net user, when one of the resident Plusnet comms people takes an interest in a post and aces the problem in a few minutes.

All Plusnet CSC people should have these skills! The customer satisfaction would be enormous.

Lastly throw away those infuriating useless scripts that the CSC people have to follow and allow them to use their initiative.

regards

Patrick
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Customer Support update - Discussion

Yeah yeah, all very nice, sounds wonderful... and I don't believe a word of it.

I have been lied to too many times to believe any of the customer appeasement crap that they trot out and all the time that they continue to attempt to justify and defend a policy of email filtering based on subject line alone then they will continue to be a bunch of half-assed amateur cowboys.

No sir-eee... I am much happier having left thankyou very much and I don't care that it is costing me more. At least I can be sure my email will be delivered, quickly and I can talk to a person, quickly, should I need to.
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Customer Support update - Discussion

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To sum it all up though: We want to get back to getting it right, and that is the process that is now starting – Many more details will follow

How are you going to do this without raising your prices and becoming the quality ISP you once were?
familycolvin
Grafter
Posts: 46
Registered: 23-06-2007

Re: Realistic measurements of quality?

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From my own experiences as a support engineer, the best way to reduce customer complaints and queue times is to employ your best engineers on the call desk , instead of the usual support centre parrots.


Patrick

I could not agree more having just been treated to the "parrot" response where CSC have simply echoed back pretty much exactly what I have just told them.

As to putting your top flight engineers in the front line that is debateable. The point about clearing the calls more quickly is true but unless all the self help that PN users are being encouraged to make use of is far more effective than I imagine, then the questions that actually require an answer from a very skilled technician are relatively few - the mere tip of the ice berg which is sitting upon a huge volume of very basic, not very technical, queries which should have been weeded out by the self help screens, but I suspect have not, and need for business efficiency reasons to be answered by less skilled (and less expensive) methods.

What is really needed, I suspect, is a better system of query screening in order to send it to an person with relevant competence in the first place (in my most recent dialogue my query was about an unexplained item posted to my account and as far as I can judge the accounts department have not yet been consulted), plus an effective system of escalation to a more knowledgeable person when the initial answer is unsatisfactory.

My impression is that there is no initial query analysis and routing so frontline CSC staff try to be a jack-of-all-trades, who are constrained over how much time they have to answer a call, probably no time to even look things up (e.g. an account), and simply squirt out the first thing that comes into their head in order to keep their response time down since I imagine that is a performance criteria against which they are judged.

So just as with the NHS where trying to drive down waiting times come what may has produced some seriously anomalous results, so the same thing is happening with PN CSC. I suspect if my own experience is anything to go by then the number of responses to close the query has gone through the roof..

Which brings me to a key question. Is the speed of response always that important? OK if you are being denied access then clearly it is, but there needs to be a dedicated hot-line just for that. However for many items it clearly is not: in my case I would not mind if it took 2 hours, 2 days, or even 2 weeks provided someone had both answered the query that I actually submitted (as opposed to a similar one which was easier to answer) AND provided an intelligent and considered response (so far after 6 days and 3 responses the question I asked about a suspicious £2 charge has still not been answered, so I am unhappy, and so is PN management since it will have cost PN considerably more than £2 in responding because the query was not routed to someone who had the power to either correct it or adequately explain it.

So one small improvement to the “ticket” process that I would like to suggest is a box to tick so that one can choose between a quick answer and a slower, but more considered, answer.