An increasingly digital world has created more demanding customers and it’s up to every company to respond.
For an information and communications service provider like BT, it’s about meeting the needs of dynamic businesses, giving them the best possible customer experience (CX), which means being responsive to their unique expectations and helping them grow.
The good news is that our latest CX scores from Deep-Insight, a customer experience specialist that we have been working with for over a decade, shows how much progress we’re making in this area. It’s to the credit of everyone in the company that we’re now fine-tuning practices which have already placed BT Ireland in the top 10% of customer service companies.
Journey of improvement
In annual surveys we ask customers to rank BT on Net Promoter Scores (NPS) and score us using Deep-Insight’s Customer Relationship Quality (CRQ) index. Our current NPS is +46. While the result has remained steady over the last two years, it’s the scale of our achievement since we started on this path that is the most striking, when scores were as low as -44.
The CRQ tells a similar story, up to 6.0 from 5.9 in 2021. When we started working with Deep-Insights 14 years ago it was 4.2, placing us in a ‘underperforming zone’ which kick started our company-wide effort to turn it around. Today, the attention we pay to CX and the visibility we have across multichannel customer engagements is the result of being ‘early movers’ on a journey of continuous improvement.
Digging deeper into the new results, the CRQ among our key customers is over 5.9 and 72% of all customers now qualify as ambassadors, a rise from 8% over time. Ambassadors are the clients we have the deepest relationships with, organisations that would happily recommend BT to others. Typically, a third of most company’s B2B clients are ambassadors, according to Deep-Insight, so we are in an unusually strong position.
Our service and account teams were praised for being professional, trustworthy, and highly responsive to customer queries in the survey results, and on the rare occasions that something went wrong in our service offerings, we were lauded for being responsive and providing a high quality of support. It was as a positive endorsement of our approach – we listen to customer feedback, take it onboard, learn lessons and move forward.
Company-wide CX culture
The challenge for every organisation is that a well-executed CX strategy must cover multiple customer touchpoints because it only takes one bad experience to create a serious problem that could lead to churn and lost business. This is why we have been careful to curate a customer-centric mindset among employees and embed CX and the need for continuous improvement in the culture of the company.
Business managers, account directors, and services managers are encouraged to prioritise the customer experience and to ensure contracts and SLAs are rigorously managed. We have put in place resources and training materials to improve employee understanding of what CX entails and how it relates to their part of the business, and we have given departments their own scorecards to foster a sense of ownership.
Steering it all is our CX leadership team. Like every change project, buy-in from the top is critical. We benefit from our Managing Director, Shay Walsh, being such a strong advocate for our programme, speaking on the subject externally in the media as well as internally, always keeping employees up to speed with our latest CX results and the progress we are making.
Above all he reiterates the core message around BT’s approach, to always listen to the “voice of the customer”, to take personal responsibility in our engagement rather than assume it’s someone else’s job. So far, so good, but we will continue to evolve our CX programme via data analytics, increasing customer contacts and ensuring what we measure is customer-centric. We look forward to the next step in our CX journey.