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Aspiring Legend
Posts: 11,105
Thanks: 2,459
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Registered: ‎02-08-2007


I see that changes are being made in chat due to a 'resource struggle', must admit I like that description but wonder what it really means ? Lack of staff ? Surely with the profit made by PN there cannot be a lack of money to employ more staff or a lack of staff who have the skills to fill such posts.

Perhaps I am wrong and ' resource struggle' means something else ?

We are born into history and history is born into us.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,692
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Registered: ‎23-09-2010

Re: Chat

It's all gobbledegook.

Wasn't there a drive a while back to get businesses to use real (understandable) English?

Not applicable

Re: Chat

Surely the answer to a "resource struggle" would be to introduce a ticket system ?


Tickets can be responded to as and when resources allow.

Tickets can be automatically triaged to the correct pools of expertise (support, sales, billing, ...).

Tickets can show real time status for current ticket response times.

Tickets allow customers to attach screenshots or other files to help with their question.

Tickets could be answered by staff when not in the office via a remote login.

Tickets don't cause customer frustration in having to wait ages to ask their question.

Tickets have a full history of what was said by both parties, and not notes made of a phone call.

Tickets allow customers to ask questions when they can't otherwise call or chat during office hours.


Does anyone else think a ticketing system is the answer to the "resource struggle" ?

Seasoned Pro
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Re: Chat

depends if they got the 'resources' to pick up the tickets.  Roll_eyes

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Re: Chat

The purpose of a Help Desk/Call Centre is to answer calls, but not necessarily give answers.

The manager of such a centre will be judged on how much he/she spends on resources. He/she won't be measured on customer churn or the effectiveness of a chat system.

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Seasoned Hero
Posts: 5,732
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Registered: ‎30-07-2008

Re: Chat

@gleneagles wrote:

I see that changes are being made in chat due to a 'resource struggle'...

I read that post too, and was particularly intrigued by this sentence -

For us, it means we’ll be able to have a real view of what our queue wait times are across calls and chat, as currently they are polluted with customers waiting in both channels.  [my bold]

A Freudian slip?  Undecided

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Community Veteran
Posts: 7,692
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Registered: ‎23-09-2010

Re: Chat

It's good to know plusnet are associating customers seeking help with something nasty and unwanted.


Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎06-11-2007

Re: Chat

Thanks for bringing this to my notice.... I am sure that many people will be interested in the subject matter, especially those of us who have a great need for chat.... aka customer service..


It`s good of @LouisaMartin to admit .....

On the back of the poor service levels we’ve been experiencing over the previous months, we’re going to change the way we use chat on the site and give our customers a better experience.


Despite the current lies being broadcast on television advertising, about "award winning customer service".. ( as if....  )

Perhaps the money saved by stopping this ridiculous advert from running. could be put to better use, in implementing a properly structured staffing level, with good training, and good career prospects being important to keeping "the good ones"  and thus improving the "poor service levels we`ve been experiencing"...


On first "read through"... @LouisaMartin seems to be giving us "the good news"... which is, in effect. exactly the opposite of what is being done with chat.... 


"Auto-routing"... on chat.... sounds like some kind of "new wave" super dooper progressive system has been installed... 


We have now defined a new service level (SLA) for our chat channel. So, if a customer is trying to get through and the maximum wait time (SLA) is set at i.e. 5mins, if we are at that level,


the customer will no longer be able to chat and the chat option will show as Busy.


Once the SLA drops below the defined SLA, the funnel will open up again for customers to join that queue.




  oh, dear... not when you read on, and realise that this is "gobbledegook" speak, for using less staff and giving the customer LESS choice...  Prior to this debacle,  if all the customers came on to Chat, with the "same level" of requirements, then the queuing system that indicates  "we are very busy, .. your turn is 21 .... "  and  the customers can see they are being progressed down to the the lower numbers as previous calls are dealt with.. knowing, also, that it may take some time... but... at least I am in the queue, and it will be my turn....( soon )  sometime ...


Once the SLA drops below the defined SLA, the funnel will open up again for customers to join that queue.


  this Auto Routing, could mean that if 10 people have tech queries, however, those in the queue for more than 5 mins  will be told... "BUSY"... and will be refused entry into the queueing system,. and  have to keep trying to get started on chat... over and over again.

.  meanwhile, some other lucky b** just manages to get in, and keep the others  out.. due to the infinitely small time gap between one customer ending his call, and his call being registered....

.  meanwhile over on "provisioning"..7 customers "could" be waiting...  but the latest arrivals will be shut out, because of the 5 min  rule, giving a "BUSY" response


. so.... these people will be added back into the "unknown" queue, trying to get into the "funnel" for customers to REJOIN that queue, that they were barred from by the "5 mins" ( or whatever ) rule.

Can you see what is happening here?   it will be worse than on the Phone queue.... ( no idea when your call will be answered....)   but 


  "thank you for calling PlusNet... your call is important to us and will be answered............  )  ( whenever we can find someone to answer it, but we`re not telling you when )....



@LouisaMartin  states......


This will mean customers have a better experience when getting into a chat queue,

Are you really sure of that , Louisa ? ? ? 



as the maximum amount of time they will be waiting is heavily reduced,

NO.. !   It won`t... ... what you are doing, is cutting customers off from the use of chat by showing "BUSY"... so they are still have a waiting time, (trying repeatedly to get back into the queue that you have denied them)... 

that is "not recorded"  or shown on YOUR statistics, because, to you ( plusnet) there is no "call waiting" time if the customer cannot contact on chat... ...


the customer is not getting a better experience, as they still are not in the queue, and the frustration will be even worse..... 


once they get into the queue, the waiting time will still be reliant on how quickly the previous calls are dealt with...


not because of the number of people in the queue.  ( now heavily reduced by the 5 minute rule )...


as opposed to the unknown wait time they currently have when getting into the queue.

The actual time waiting on Chat, is not shown... but the position in the queue is (was) shown... which is infinitely better than not being able to get in the queue in the first place, because of this AutoRouting and 5 minute rule now being implemented.



. As wait time will be significantly reduced, this will remove the need to simultaneously call us and improve the experience in chat, as well as calls.


Wait times will NOT be significantly reduced, because of this measure....

it will only "appear" to PlusNet, that because there are not so many people able to queue in Chat, that the waiting time is reduced .


I repeat... the only way that wait time will be significantly reduced, is to

1. reduce the number of repeated ( over the past 9 years) faults and complaints

2. put into place a proper "robust" training and career development program, for customer service staff.

3. ensure that the working environment, of the senior level customer service staff, recognise, and provide, good working conditions for all staff levels below them... ( this should ensure the retention of good staff)..

4. stop advertising for new customers, until the customer services infrastructure has been re designed to give proper level of service to the customers. 



and finally....



Customer service is always at the heart of what we and we have made this change to help you


Erm.... No... I think it is done more to help PlusNet, the measure implemented does nothing to help the customer experience, nor will it improve Customer Service..


. in fact... it will probably generate more complaints that customers are denied the use of Chat, due to it always showing "BUSY"...


and ensure a more consistent experience, across whichever channel you choose.


Yes, I am sure you are correct in that last statement... it will be more consistenly bad,or worse ........ across whichever channel you choose.