A BT CX with a channel twist

I’ve been holding in a queue for 9 minutes and 31 seconds. My 6th sense tells me it may be a while, before I eventually talk to an agent. Perhaps enough time to write a short blog post.

The story so far

During the week my better half informed me “BT called again.” So I guess it was my turn to take their next call.

On Friday, BT rang to offer a faster broadband service, with a shiny “to infinity and beyond hub” and a bundle of extras. Buz lightyear step aside, fibre cable has finally reached our lowly Hampshire village. Even better, discounted for 3 months, I’m in!

The advisor had a strong accent so I struggled to understand most of what he said. However 25 minutes later after a few repeated explanations, and scripted service descriptions I had my 12 digit alphanumeric order reference number.

I was advised  to keep the reference safe so I could go online anytime to track my order status, but I’d receive confirmation by email. All good.

One week later. Still no sign of any order confirmation via email, but something was happening. My current provider called with a heavy heart. It was the classic retention call. Only at the point of switching did I suddenly get treated like a valued customer. “Do you really want to leave Mr experience, you’ve been a customer for seven years.”

I delivered the bad news, sorry its over! Funny, I’ve never been called Mr Experience before, but they never did get the spelling right on my bill.

Yesterday I received a BT mail-shot offer, encouraging me to switch to their Broadband and free for six months!

Hold the phone, I was sure my new order was only free for 3 months……..mmm better check my order. Ahh I can’t check as I never received the promised email confirmation! Better call BT

Back to reality

9 minutes 31 seconds into the call

Just spoke to a BT agent  “the system is not letting me access your records” We eventually get somewhere. “You already have an order”.

Yes, I know, I’d just like to check it.

“didn’t the agent not explain it?”

Yes, but I did not quite get all what was said (strong accent)

“you should have received an order confirmation by email”

Yes I know, nothing has arrived and I just checked my email before I decided to call you. I’d just like to check my order details.

“did the agent not explain it to you?”

Yes, but as I said, i’d like to check what I’m getting.

Finally I give up and go to the right web page showing different offers.

Ahh, the plot thickens. A new order placed online receives a £50 voucher. I’m sure that was not mentioned on the original call?

Now comes the moment of truth, can I be bothered?  Oh yes. I’m as keen as the next tight fisted chap to get a good deal

Plan B – Cancel the order and re-order online

I call the freephone number provided for order tracking an listen to the IVR options, and the alternative self help message.

“Do you know you can use the self service website at bt.com …..for BT’s products and services”

Yes, just tried that!

I try to press option 3, but it is not happening

  1. Change my order date
  2. Do something else
  3. Cancel my order

I hang up and try again. This time the system recognises my number and open order. I get offered three choices.  Deja vu

This time I get to select option 3. I’m expecting an automated voice message along the lines of………..your order has been cancelled, thank you for calling BT.

No. I’m routed to Francis, who asks how he can help. I then have to provide all the details again, mention I’d like to cancel my order, the reason why and plan B.

“If you cancel you’ll have to wait longer”

OK, I can live with that

“I’ll have to put you through to the order management team?

OK, £50 is 50 quid…….put me through please.

Here we go again, back in the call handling queue

Thank you for holding …we are very busy and apologise for the delay………your call will be answered as soon as possible”

11 minutes 30 secs

Thank you for holding …we are very busy and apologise for the delay…..your call will be answered as soon as possible

12 minutes  18secs

Thank you for holding …we are very busy and apologise for the delay…..your call will be answered as soon as possible

13 minutes 8 seconds

I get through to what sounds like a call centre in India.

I check, it is. I mention that Francis never mentioned I’d be re-routed down a few thousand miles of copper wiring to another call centre in Asia.

Yet again I provide my name, order number, post code and my desire to put plan B into place

18 minutes and 36 seconds later

The order is cancelled. I’m advised it will take 24 hours for the systems to update, before my corrected email address will have updated, and I receive an email confirmation – dejavu,

Attempting to place an order online will be futile

As much as I like the sound of the “to infinity and beyond” BT proposition, can I really bring myself to attempt to switch again in the same week?

Key learnings

  1. Delivering a consistent branded customer experience across multiple channels matters
  2. Agent professionalism is not enough
  3. Putting the right CX measures in place is not enough
    • Agent professionalism – tick
    • First time resolution – Not even close
    • Customer Effort – high and still a way to go
    • Net Promoter Score – Unlikely to recommend so far
    • Overall satisfaction – Poor, disjointed experience

Perhaps the most poignant  is “never mailshot a customer with a better deal who you’ve already sold to!”