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Broadband Fault Handling Survey: February 2008

Broadband Fault Handling Survey: February 2008

Broadband Fault Handling Survey: February 2008

After another quarter has passed it's time to review our previous quarters progress on our broadband faults handling. As part of the review, we survey customers at the conclusion of their fault, looking at the key parts of the process, utilizing the result as a key indicator of our progress. Each month we then look into the results, and make any changes to the nature of the survey questions, and every quarter we then look over the results and use this information we have gained to further improve our fault logging process to benefit the customer. The most recent results are now in and we would like to share these with you in both how we have improved and areas we may even have declined in. First of all, if we look at the previous quarters survey results we have the following key figures from the surveys that were completed. Of the customers who completed the survey after their broadband fault was resolved:-

  • 36% Were not aware that we can offer an SMS text update to their fault.
  • 27% Were not aware of the 0808 free dial-up connection we offer as a backup when a fault is raised.
  • 70% Rated the experience as above average.
  • 47% Were extremely, or very satisfied with the experience.
  • 25% Felt that we did not understand their problem very well.

This compares to this quarters results as follows. Of the customers who completed the survey after their broadband fault was resolved:-

  • 58% Were not aware that we can offer an SMS text update to their fault.
  • 36% Were not aware of the 0808 free dial-up connection we offer as a backup when a fault is raised.
  • 74% Rated the experience as above average.
  • 57% Were extremely, or very satisfied with the experience.
  • 25% Felt that we did not understand their problem very well.

From this we can see that more of our customers are happy with the way their fault was handled, with almost half of all the customers surveyed advising they were extremely or very satisfied with how we dealt with the fault. The number of customers who felt that we could improve on understanding the problem has remained steady, but this is once again too high as we want our customers to feel that if they have a problem with their service they can contact us and we will know what the problem is and how to get it resolved. Once again the number of respondents has doubled. With a higher sample comes a higher confidence in these results. A slight decline in the number of customers raising their faults via our Members Centre has been seen, to 48%. Since our last survey update, we have implemented a new system of calling customers with updates regarding faults. A minimum of two calls to a customer are being processed with both in and out of standard office hours to ensure maximum success of talking to the customer, addressing the required questions and progression of the broadband fault. This itself may account for a decline in the use of SMS with an increase in the number of customers we do not actually need to use this with, especially the sharp decrease of awareness. With the increase in satisfaction of the process, we hope to focus on the element of understanding faults. Plans to target training across the board to ensure a common level of understanding amongst all areas of the support centre. One specific target area will be broadband speed faults, with a huge 22% difference in initial assistance and fault understanding, thus a good starting point. Some other key contributions for Q1 2008 will be the placement of a broadband faults team, dedicated to just one goal. Whilst there are many core agents currently handling this as a team, the skill is spread apart. A dedicated broadband faults team will be central to the target of reaching a common level of understanding.


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Whilst interesting, these figures are meaningless without some indication as to the number of faults reported (perhaps as a percentage of the total connections).
Oooh, good one and something I had not thought about, though I admit I am unsure it is as meaningless as you think. At the end of the day, the survey is voluntary. It is sent to customers when we feel we have reached the point that the fault is resolved and have sufficient evidence to suggest this (stable connection after a no sync or auth fault, customers telling us on the ticket or a conversation in a call). It is not however sent were the customer closes the ticket themselves, or we have failed to contact the customer and thus the ticket may naturally timeout when it is with the customer. I will see what figures we can pull out as we have a pretty specific timeframe for the results.
My own experience of a ticket that is still on-going is that the support staff member who replies to the ticket does not read the previous entries. This in my case has resulted in the ticket just going round in circles. There is also a tendency amongst staff to search for anything that might indicate that the fault has 'gone away'. This is based more on optimism than any actual analysis of the symptoms and just causes more frustration from me the customer. I'd be happy to discuss this further with you if you contact me by email.
Hi Ian, I have already had the opportunity to look at your experiences on your ongoing fault report. In some regards I have to agree with you as it cannot be denied your report has been open in excess of a month, which is way beyond the norm. The very nature of your report and your comments upon it make it very hard to investigate. The time between the problem starting and you raising the problem has resulted in your current services being classified as "normal". By "normal", I mean that the product has adapted per the design, to allow errors to be removed. Had we been informed many month ago when you say this started, we would have access to the needed information before it has chance to adapt. Drive a car with a broken engine, you risk damaging it more and more, to the point that it may be irreparable. It's the same with DSL Max, though on occasions we stand a better chance of repair dependant on line results. I do have to say that it is equally a two way street in terms of review and response of a ticket. Our support teams do take the time to read and respond to tickets and often the work they do is dependant on information from the customer. This can form anything from a simple yes or no, through to the customer needing to take physical actions. If in either situation we get a response that is contradictory to the specified conditions of an ADSL service, they are correct to question such a response. This may seem picky, it may seem like we are in the "search for anything that might indicate that the fault has ‘gone away’". I can assure you it is anything but this. Have you ever looked at the manual for a Television? At the rear, you will often find a troubleshooter, which provides a series of symptoms, a series of cursory questions/checks and a probable solution. Have you ever looked at them, pointed and said to yourself "what the ..."? These questions are always over simplified to appeal to all users of a Television set. If you actually thing about the question, whilst it may seem simple to most, you often find it will be one of the first things you do. ADSL is infinitely more complex and as such, there often more questions and they are often less understood. That said, does this make them checks any less valid? On inspection you did question some of the tests we asked, in some cases quite subtly. Unfortunatly this only extends the life of the fault, as it requires that we answer this point and means we still need to progress the fault, often not until the tests are complete. Outside of this as above, I agree there are a number of occasions when we could have addressed this much more logically, done what was clearly stated would take place or otherwise done something at all. At of which will be addressed with the agents concerned.
Hi Prichardson. I appreciate your detailed response. I have to apologise that I also posted a similar comment to Chris's March Customer Satisfaction survey results and I fear that have now involved two people when one would have done. My postings were bourne out of frustration and in retrospect I should have read more blog entries before posting a comment and would then have realised that Chris's more recent article was the more appropriate place. I now believe that Chris is looking into my question so I apologise if I have wasted your time. The rest of this comment can be considered an aside and I don't expect a response unless you feel one is warrented. Regarding your comment that I should have reported my problem earlier, I can only agree with you. The reason I did not was merely that I knew a lot less about ADSL techology then and thought it was general network busy-ness rather than a fault affecting me only. (The forums at the time were full of similar reports.) And at the time I didn't really need the extra speed. I hope that I haven't been in any way obstructive in providing responses to the support staff. I'm not aware of any information that was requested from me that I have not provided and I did try to provide additional information that I thought might be helpful. Not sure what you mean by 'question[ing] some of the tests we asked, in some cases quite subtly.' If this is indeed the case then it can be only because I misunderstood what was being asked. I should say finally that the thing I appreciate most about PlusNet is your honesty and openness. I got the distinct feeling with my previous ISP that they wanted 'stupid' customers and felt threatened by any customer with more than a modicum of techinical knowledge. Not so with PlusNet. Please keep it up. Ian
No problem at all Ian. Myself, James, Chris and possible others have been involved. I have only involved myself from the satisfaction and feedback side of things (the purpose of this blog). In regards of time to report. As with anything, if you sniff a rat, regardless of if you think it's a generic problem affecting many people, we need to know. For many reasons. If it is generic, the more reports, the quicker we know. The scale of the problem may not be known. We can perform investigation that confirms a problem, locate a source that says x% are impacted, but there may be a variable we have missed. You never know, a single report may be the key to fixing a whole host of other problems. If it isn't generic, well, we can tell you this, get you educated up in the ways of the Jedi (ADSL is mysterious, with many different intricate little things). We can also capture data at the needed time that may hold the key to solving the problem for you. With the adaptive nature of Max, this information becomes lost forever, never to be seen again after X amount of time, as the stable but incorrect change deems your service to be "normal". Don't feel obstructive. Comments good and bad are what we survive and thrive on. Do you truly think we would have the comments box enabled on our blogs, provide community forums, be active on external forums and even on usenet? More to the point, do you think we would post this blog at all, if we felt it had no benefit or attract the attention of others and provoke debate, feedback or hell, a complaint. Without negative feedback, we have nothing from which we can learn, adapt or even damned right kick ourselves over. The more technical the customer, the better for us. It reduces our load and how deep we need to support a customer. However, even the most technical of customers need the occasion holding of hands.