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New Customer Experience

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New Customer Experience

Message from James Bailey. Comms Team Leader.

PlusNet is evolving.

This morning we will begin emailing all customers about the evolution of our Customer Support services. We have been working hard to find the best way we can continue to provide excellent and responsive customer and technical support as our customer base grows.

In recent months, I'm sure customers will have seen that at times we have had backlogs of support queries. Our plans aim to address this by putting us in a position to provide quick and quality responses to the important questions and problems people have, while helping customers find other information they need about our services from more appropriate sources.

Please see this page for a preview of the email:

http://www.plus.net/features/news/evolving_world.shtml

We will spend the morning collating all of your questions and will look to publish an FAQ based on these over the course of the afternoon.
_________________
Kind Regards,
James Bailey / jbailey@plus.net
PlusNet Communications Team Leader
19 REPLIES
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New Customer Experience

"50p per minute to cover the cost of training our team and providing this service"

I can't see that getting used a lot then.
astarsolutions
Grafter
Posts: 393
Registered: 26-07-2007

New Customer Experience

it seems like a good idea, if it will keep all the people who are asking stupid questions off the normal phone lines and ticket system then it should help; although only as long as they then don't remove people from the phones and tickets and let the delay times build up again.
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New Customer Experience

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We like to talk with you.


There seems to be precious little evidence of this in the F9 forums and the newsgroups. It seems nowadays that if you want a response, you need to visit a 3rd party forum such as the ADSL Guide. It is not that long ago that Stew banned CS from posting in this forum due to the contentious nature of some of the posters, and the overall benefit to the forums and usenet was easy to see. Now that CS now seem to spend most of their time answering queries outside of F9, current customers are once again suffering.

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You may think we talk too much - enthusiastic people often do.

Fat chance!! Visits to this forum are extremely few and far between.

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It probably won’t be easy and we will make mistakes along the way.


Nobody minds mistakes, after all we all mke them. What we object to is the mistake being made and F9 denying all knowledge of anything being wrong. Take the introduction of the Ellacoyas. We were told that there was no problem at all with usenet, it must have been something us as customers had done. Wo and behold 10 days later when the problem had been fixed, it was announced that a problem had occurred during their introduction. Open and honest? I think not!!

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the readers of PC Advisor seem to agree, they recently voted PlusNet no. 1 for customer service in their 2006 poll


Crikey, some of them out there must be really cr*p in that case. My last ISP offered live chat support and a call back service for waits longer than 10 minutes!

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When we talk to you, you tell us you like to be able to find the answers to your questions online and the first place you look is on our web site. We receive great feedback on our help information and will continue to work hard to keep it bang up to date.


Hmmm. I was looking for the sendmail location in the help section at the weekend and was unable to find it. In the "good old days" there was a link to the various perl paths from the page that tells you about the pre- written scripts. I couldn't find the link and there was no mention in the a- z index when I looked. Sendmail also produced a failed search result when searching the F9 website. It may be there, but is not easy to find!!!

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We believe if you can’t find an answer online and have to phone us we have failed.


Can't be bothered to sit in the ever increasingly long queues that cost me more money!! You most certainly have failed in the service updates area as the status area almost always seems to be the last place that is notified of any problems, and your lack of response to the idea of placing a recorded message about problems (rather than self promotion) when first telephoning shows the need to put profit before customers.

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That’s why we are setting up a consultancy phone line where the web site information can be discussed if necessary. We plan to charge 50p per minute to cover the cost of training our team and providing this service.


Here we go, the slippery slope to ALL support calls being charged at 50p per minute. It may not be in the near future, but you can almost guarantee that this is where they are looking towards, especially if they have to match the Carphone Warehouse for BB service. They are obviously pre- empting Oftel's decision to prohibit organisations taking a cut from the 0845/ 0870/ 0871 numbers which is why they are going straight for the jugular ang going premium rate.

Just some of my personal opinions on this load of "hot air" from F9.

Mark
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New Customer Experience

For me, the main thrust of this announcement is not the 50ppm line but the fact that Plus Net are trying to encourage and further develop the online self help aspect of support. This in itself will drive down the amount of tickets raised and hopefully reduce call volumes to the CSC.

Getting this message across is going to be crucial and customer education going forwards is vital.

I honestly dont think this is negative or to be feared. I see it as a genuine enhancement and an effort to improve and develop support services.

It is easy to look at the negative side of this, but if the article is studied it is clear that self help is the driving factor.

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We believe if you can’t find an answer online and have to phone us we have failed.


They are encouraging us to use the online system as opposed to the phone, that cant be bad. however there will be times, such as if the connection dies, that this will not be possible. At this point the 0845 number kicks in. No change there.

The 50ppm line will provide an enhcncement, wherby support can and will be offered for non core services as opposed to the current stance of "sorry we cant or dont support that"

This to me is an enhancement and an improvement.
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They are encouraging us to use the online system as opposed to the phone, that cant be bad. however there will be times, such as if the connection dies, that this will not be possible. At this point the 0845 number kicks in. No change there.


A question that was asked and ignored on the ADSLGuide forums was something along the lines of:

"Can we have a full list of those "core services" that will still be supported (at least in the short term) on the 0845 number?"
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Mark,

Do you mind if I ask why you are posting this information to the forums and not James Bailey himself?

As to the original posting, I think such informational websites are written by people who are familar with the technologies, etc. Navigating them when you don't know what you're looking for is a mindfield (even when a search facility is available - people who don't know the keywords get overwhelmed). There is a tendency for support staff on the phone to say "well it's all on the website", rather than actually helping. And just because the information is available on a website. doesn't make it helpful. Have you considered that being voted #1 is BECAUSE people get to speak to an agent about all their issues (or raise them on contact us). I just see this as another example of F9 looking to raise revenue and lower the quality of service.

As to the 50p/min phone calls. I wonder how long the 0845 number has left in this world? Given a choice between phoning an 09-- number of an 0845-- number people are going to phone the 0845 number first. Plus how happy would you be to be on hold for 15mins to the 0845 number, only to be told when you get through to an agent that you'll have to phone the premium rate number to get a reasonable answer?

Just because of the quality/speed of support tickets is lacking, is not a reason to lower the expectations.

I didn't exactly see PlusNet making a loss last year. What no coffers for training staff - must raise more money? It does however hint that F9 are as unhappy about the general quality of support staff training as we are (hence needing more money to train them).

Although I'm sure the shareholders will see this as an improvement.
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New Customer Experience

Yeah, I do find it quite amusing that no-one from Plusnet has actually posted this information anywhere within Plusnet's own system. Nothing in any of the newgroups, nothing in their own forums.

I did find that James had posted it to the ADSLGuide forums though. Is this an admission that Plus' own systems just aren't up to the job?
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Do you mind if I ask why you are posting this information to the forums and not James Bailey himself?


Hi,

No I am most certainly not James. He is younger, more intelligent and I dont have blonde hair. Smiley

Other than giving him a hand, during what is a fairly busy day, no other reason.

Call it a form of delegation. Smiley

Sorry if the way it was posted has caused any confusion.

I cant give any insight as to how the website will look, but i would hope that common sense would prevail. Experience from the current ticket system will have taught the Support Team what headers are required and what paths customers seeking help need to follow.

If the site content folows a similar route, albeit with more comprehensive options then the information and answers should be made easy to find.

I believe simplicity is the key here or this project will fail.
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New Customer Experience

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Do you mind if I ask why you are posting this information to the forums and not James Bailey himself?


Hi,

No I am most certainly not James. He is younger, more intelligent and I dont have blonde hair. Smiley


You see, here's my thing... if he's not writing here - then chances are he's not reading here either. Which in fairness is the level of F9 interest we've come to expect.
astarsolutions
Grafter
Posts: 393
Registered: 26-07-2007

New Customer Experience

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Experience from the current ticket system will have taught the Support Team what headers are required and what paths customers seeking help need to follow.


Yes; not the ones that are there at the moment.
Every time I have contacted F9 in recent months I have used the avoid wizard option because the options that are there haven't been remotely related to any of my problems.
The same goes for the support website, I can no longer find anything, it use to be (about a year ago) quite good with a well laid out structure and easy to find information.
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

New Customer Experience

Hi Guys,

I am here and I do read, and yes, I am far more intelligent than Mark Wink

I asked him to do me a favour and post some messages for me whilst I was busy sorting out the FAQ that I've just posted in here. So please don't think I'm ignoring you, just hellishly busy, but more than happy to listen to your feedback regarding today's announcement and FAQ.
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Just a couple of other things about the 0900 range of premium rate numbers.

I am assuming that you will have ample operatives to answer these calls? Currently Oftel prohibits companies from placing customers in a queue system whilst paying premium rates. With the longest call currently in your queue at 17 minutes, how do you propose to prevent this?

A lot of other IT companies that charge premium rates, guarantee to only charge a maximum amount per call, what are F9/ +Nets proposals on this? If someone rings you for what in essence will be "professional" support, you can't expect them to have to charge while the agent disappears around the corner for a 5 minute chat with a colleague about potentially what the problem could be.

Mark
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

New Customer Experience

Hi Mark,

There are rules we have to adhere to here. The longest waiting time (once call connected) is 15 seconds, and longest call time would be 15 minutes.
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in my view this is just another way of f9 making money.

they shouldn't need to charge 50p a minute for calls to cover their costs, as they should have included all this in their budget.

in my view why should a customer have to pay 50p a minute (thus probably £7.40) per call for support because there are problems with their access.

Is this actually to cover the cost of PlusTalk, or because someone actually made a mistake on their figures.

Instead giving everyone free plustalk on their packages, why not use the money instead to train your staff...

Also when recruiting staff, ensure they have the basic knowledge of systems.