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Suggestion..... employ more staff to answer tickets and phones

Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Suggestion..... employ more staff to answer tickets and phones

Up till now, I have been very satisfied with PlusNet and the Customer Service ..... up till now .
Recently I changed over products, and lost my connection (see my posting in Broadband Speed > 
Broadband speed slow - Customer support speed = SLOWER STILL    http://community.plus.net/forum/index.php/topic,80623.0.html ; )
Because of the way the changeover was sloppily carried out, (it should have been seamless) my usage chart on the "view my connections" is thoroughly confusing.
It looks as though I am going to be charged for the first 5 days use on my new product of  5.87Gb usage to my old BBYW  15gb limit... 
This will be totally UNACCEPTABLE.
To ensure that this does not happen, I have raised a ticket. and again on submitting the ticket get the current response
Thank you
Current average response time:48 hours 1 minute 23 seconds

OK. so it is the middle of Saturday afternoon at time of posting. and I seriously do not expect an answer until mid morning on Monday at the earliest.
BUT
Plusnet used to be RPT used to be pretty hot on replying to customer queries, and seems to have adopted a policy of wait and see, we might get round to answering some time in the middle of next week,
Even the telephone service, at least a 20 minute wait, and every so often being bombarded with stupid  yes stupid "adverts" of course you can always contact us at www.plusnet How daft is that ? .... a choice ........  wait an unknown amount of time on the phone,...... or put in a ticket and wait for 2 days one minute and 23 seconds, (maybe).
No disrespect to the guys on the phone, when you do get through to them, they always appear to be "fresh" and helpful, as if it were the first call they had had that day.
The big problem with the phone waiting system at present, is the stupid "adverts" telling  you to go on the net.... (the customer is on the phone because he wants an answer to his/her problems now..... and may not be able to get on the net)
and secondly, there should be a queueing system that informs you that you are held in a Queue, and your turn is number 5 (reducing as previous callers are cleared).


135 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: Suggestion..... employ more staff to answer tickets and phones

UPDATE...

Have just received an email notifaction that the account problem I mentioned above has been escalated or answered. ! ! ! !...
(but my other ticket is stil outstanding !)
Thanks for quick response on the above item.
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re:Suggestion..... employ more staff to answer tickets and phones

Hi Gerry,
Looks like both of your tickets have been answered now.
scootie
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Registered: 03-11-2007

Re: Suggestion..... employ more staff to answer tickets and phones

Quote
and secondly, there should be a queueing system that informs you that you are held in a Queue, and your turn is number 5 (reducing as previous callers are cleared).

i like that idea, it gives me a cue then to stop singing to the insanely cheesy cant get out of your head music before the cs agent catchs me,
i do like that idea better than average answer times thoe
Community Veteran
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Re:Suggestion..... employ more staff to answer tickets and phones

Quote from: Jameseh
Hi Gerry,
Looks like both of your tickets have been answered now.

Yes thanks James  Wink
But it still seems a l--------------o----------------n----------------g    t-------------i----------------------m---------------------e    t--------o  w----------------a ---------------------i-----------------------t  f------o-------r  an a----------n--------------s----------------w--------------e----------------r  or a-------------c------------------t----------------i-----------------o-------------------n
Can anything be done about getting the queueing system installed on the telephone system? Undecided
James
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Re:Suggestion..... employ more staff to answer tickets and phones

Asbo Dog,
That's not something that we can offer.  If we had one calling queue, then fine, but there's various different ones for customer service, faults, home phone, business support and so on, with varying different priorities.
It just wouldn't work.
Community Veteran
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Re: Suggestion..... employ more staff to answer tickets and phones

@ Jamesh
When calling into plusnet, you get "options" to press 1, for this..... 2, for that      ....and 3,  for a very long wait..... Cheesy Cheesy  or 4.... try again Cry
It is possible to have the queuing system on each of those "options" as it is available on other "utility" customer service numbers.
It may be that PlusNet just can`t afford to get it installed..... Yet I am sure that some financial arrangement can be made with the supplier.... i.e. "No deposit , nothing to pay for the first year..... and 4 years instant free credit" as mentioned on certain Sofa adverts !  Wink
James
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Re:Suggestion..... employ more staff to answer tickets and phones

I'm not going to go all out and say that's it's impossible, but I don't believe it is possible with our implementation.
O2 do the same as us fwiw.
Community Veteran
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Re: Suggestion..... employ more staff to answer tickets and phones

To be fair the cost doesnt come into it.
We did look at this a couple of years ago and Carol and I looked at options with a number of suppliers, however for good reason we ruled it out as a solution.
A number of reasons for this existed. In a multi skilled support team where agents can and do handle multiple workflows, some of those workflows receive a higher priority than others, such as an ADSL fault or a phone fault. Lets say your calling to report a problem with email, no other higher priority calls in the queues and your number 3 in line to be answered, suddenly 2 adsl faults hit the queue and a home phone fault. Next thing you know you've gone from 3 to six with no understanding why.
The numerous implimentations of this model we looked at simply didnt fit how we and many other tech environments operate. Ideal world scenario would be that we have agents sitting twiddling their thumbs in between calls for each different workflow to ensure that a call queuing system like that would work, but thats not sound operational practice and certainly would not be efficient or indeed cost effective.
We spent a lot of time looking at the options, but the downside way way outstripped the benefit and in fact there was no benefit, for us or our customers, from this solution.

Community Veteran
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Re: Suggestion..... employ more staff to answer tickets and phones

Quote from: Mark

A number of reasons for this existed. In a multi skilled support team where agents can and do handle multiple workflows, some of those workflows receive a higher priority than others, such as an ADSL fault or a phone fault. Lets say your calling to report a problem with email, no other higher priority calls in the queues and your number 3 in line to be answered, suddenly 2 adsl faults hit the queue and a home phone fault. Next thing you know you've gone from 3 to six with no understanding why.

We spent a lot of time looking at the options, but the downside way way outstripped the benefit and in fact there was no benefit, for us or our customers, from this solution.


I would suggest you have anothe think about it, because your scenario  can be equated to a supermarket.... there are usually "spare" checkouts, and staff doing other things in  the supermarket..... when traffic at checkouts increases, there is a QUEUE,  by default, that means people wait their turn to be "served"... It matters not how long the persons in front spend with the cashier, it depends on each basket/trolleyload how long each takes to go through....  meanwhile there is still a queue, and it can build up, as we all know, with multi talented staff, the manager decides to open up another (or maybe two) checkouts... those at the back of the queue move into the next lane, and stil form a queue,
Now apply that to customers calling in on the phone.... exactly the same principle applies.... some may have a long query (full trolley load, and problems with their credit card) others may have only a short query, (a hand basket and cash) but they are still dealt with in an orderley manner, and each person in the queue knows his position and estimated waiting time before being served.
By denying yourself, you have denied us, the customers, of the plain and simple means of knowing that "your turn is number 5"  and can make the choice to wait or hang up... with no indication from the telephone except being blasted every so often with " adverts" for homephone, go to www.plusnet, for more information or help, and other products, it seems as if the telephone system is only there to sell the products to a captive audience.
Community Veteran
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Re: Suggestion..... employ more staff to answer tickets and phones

Quote from: Mark
To be fair the cost doesnt come into it.
We did look at this a couple of years ago and Carol and I looked at options with a number of suppliers, however for good reason we ruled it out as a solution.
A number of reasons for this existed. In a multi skilled support team where agents can and do handle multiple workflows, some of those workflows receive a higher priority than others, such as an ADSL fault or a phone fault. Lets say your calling to report a problem with email, no other higher priority calls in the queues and your number 3 in line to be answered, suddenly 2 adsl faults hit the queue and a home phone fault. Next thing you know you've gone from 3 to six with no understanding why.
The numerous implimentations of this model we looked at simply didnt fit how we and many other tech environments operate. Ideal world scenario would be that we have agents sitting twiddling their thumbs in between calls for each different workflow to ensure that a call queuing system like that would work, but thats not sound operational practice and certainly would not be efficient or indeed cost effective.
We spent a lot of time looking at the options, but the downside way way outstripped the benefit and in fact there was no benefit, for us or our customers, from this solution.

There's an aspect of this reply that really, really bothers me.
It appears that if I've rung in and I'm sitting in a low priority call queue and there are a lot of calls coming in for high priority queues my call may not be answered for a very long time and many people who called long after me could be answered first.
Please tell me I've got that wrong!
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
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Re: Suggestion..... employ more staff to answer tickets and phones

which is why I suggested the "your turn is number 5" .....
the reasons given seem to indicate that if you have a full shopping trolley, then you go to the front of the queue 
regardless of how many people with less complicated (hand baskets) are in front of you in the queue....
which is how it seems to be at the moment.  (somehow, the people with the complicated (full trolleyloads) are mysteriously given "priority" and sneaked in front without you actually seeing them move... ) and you wait patiently without complaining in the queue with your loaf of bread and bottle of milk  ....or leave and go home without getting anything for tea !...
Community Veteran
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Re: Suggestion..... employ more staff to answer tickets and phones

This discussion is missing the point !
This thread is titled " Suggestion..... employ more staff to answer tickets and phones".
The underlying problem is that both tickets and phone enquiries are taking far to long to answered, and the above discussion is trying to find a technical solution to make a fairer queuing system.
Better queuing does not improve the volume of questions answered, and therefore overall response times will not come down.
There are several solutions -
1) Improve reliability - and therefore reduce support requests in the first place.
2) Respond to problems more quickly - to reduce number of subsequent people complaining about same problem.
3) Test all system changes before implementation - to reduce incidents of falling back to last known working states.
4) Have support staff answering tickets over the weekends.
5) Increase support staff so all tickets get answered within 24 hours, and phones answered within 3 minutes.
6) Improve support staff training so they solve the problem FIRST time.
Improve the queuing system if you like, but customers want answers in a timely manner.
James
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Re: Suggestion..... employ more staff to answer tickets and phones

Hi Purleigh,
Good to see you raising the more important issue.
1) Improve reliability - and therefore reduce support requests in the first place. -> Being worked on.
2) Respond to problems more quickly - to reduce number of subsequent people complaining about same problem. -> Being worked on within reason.
3) Test all system changes before implementation - to reduce incidents of falling back to last known working states. -> This is already being done and always has been.  However, testing in a live environment before rollout is not possible, so we do the best we can with our Gamma platform.
4) Have support staff answering tickets over the weekends. -> This already happens.  The callcentre is 24/7.
5) Increase support staff so all tickets get answered within 24 hours, and phones answered within 3 minutes. -> Not a realistic possibility.  We aim to have all calls answered in under 10 minutes (bear in mind that we have busier and quieter times of the day and we do have "bursts" of calls.  We are increasing the number of staff that we have here.
6) Improve support staff training so they solve the problem FIRST time. -> Absolutely agree.  We've a lot of focus on this currently, but obviously it's not an overnight fix.
Community Veteran
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Re: Suggestion..... employ more staff to answer tickets and phones

Whilst the above list of "work in progress" is admirable in itself,
  it does not address the problem of "who gets dealt with first"... caused by your statement
Quote
Lets say your calling to report a problem with email, no other higher priority calls in the queues and your number 3 in line to be answered, suddenly 2 adsl faults hit the queue and a home phone fault. Next thing you know you've gone from 3 to six with no understanding why.

this is not "transparent" to the customer waiting on the phone.... and therefore is not "good practice", nor good for customer relations.....
A queueing system as previously described, ensures that no matter "how important" I am, I take my turn.... to the person making the call, their problem is just as "high priority" as any other call in the system....  which is where the current system fails the customer.
You are not running an A&E department,(where some more urgent patient requires immediate service,)  nor do you have a triage nurse system to prioritise customer problems, therefore frustration will abound.
The original point I was making was not necessarily about the phone system/service...(I originally used the telephone system only to be made aware of the current problem, hence the post for more staff to deal with problems...) it was to do with the ticket system... where 2 days 1 minute and 23 seconds, is really not good enough, and in this department, more staff would improve the turnaround.... even 24 hours is a long time to wait for a response to a "simple query"...