Published on 22 September 2011 by in Customer Service

bt crm CRM at BT

Phone. Email. Twitter. Mobile. For a company the size of BT, it is crucial that customer service runs across dozens of different channels. The company had more than 15 million customers and, each year, receives over 70 million calls and 2.5 million emails. As we’ve said in the past, ensuring a consistent service across all these mediums is crucial for an organisation, so we were interested to read a fantastic article from Econsultancy this week, featuring Warren Buckley, the man responsible for customer service at BT.

The article, which takes the form of a Q and A session, gives us an interesting insight into the way the company knits together the different strands of its customer service offering. It also highlights some interesting points which we feel strongly very strongly about at numero. Here’s just some of his comments we feel need further discussion:

“There will be around 100m calls that are offered to us, and around 30m of those will fall into our automated channels… After that there will be around 2.5m emails per year, and they are dealt with via our environment, and in addition we will get something in the region of 55m discrete uses of our self-service capability on the website…We will still also get around 800,000 letters a year.”

numero thinks: All customers are different. Some may feel the need to contact the company directly or speak to an operator to discuss a problem, while some will prefer email or self-service on the internet. A business needs to offer a response service across all of these channels in order to truly satisfy the consumer.

“Possibly the smallest of the channels – but the fastest-growing – is the social media environment. For example, we have around 60,000 customers on Twitter, and then about 400,000 to 500,000 on our forums, and then on YouTube we have 300,000 hits on our videos on YouTube.”

numero thinks: Companies need to be flexible in terms of their contact channels. Social media is a relatively new medium for customer interactions, although the expectations of consumers using this service is growing. Businesses should be on top of emerging trends and adjust their offering appropriately.

“Strategically we are trying to move to be a multichannel service organisation. But where I would say we are at the moment is a multiple channels service organisation. Gradually we are starting to track across the channels. For example if someone uses and then calls us, we track that, but at the moment it’s much harder for me to track if someone has emailed and then called in.”

numero thinks: The number one frustration we hear from consumers is that companies fail to store details of their previous interactions. Tracking records across several channels is crucial for businesses who want to be able to offer a customer a seamless service over several different channels.

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