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Behind the scenes: a broadband call centre
By Carrie-Ann Skinner
Talk Talk, the broadband service run by The Carphone Warehouse, is one of the UK’s biggest ISPs. It recently purchased rival Tiscali, which had three million customers, further bolstering its coverage and its percentage share of the UK’s home broadband market. As with several other operators, it offers a landline phone service along with broadband, while existing Tiscali customers also get Tiscali TV channels delivered via the web.
Given the size of the operation, Talk Talk needs a sizable customer services centre. It has 12 centres that handle around
a million queries every month between them.
Web users calling the customer service department are initially directed to an interactive voice response (IVR), which offers a number of options. After choosing the most relevant option, the IVR directs the caller to a customer service representative.
Talk Talk aims to ensure that the first person a customer speaks to can deal with their problem and claims that in 80 percent of cases they are able to start dealing with the query within 30 secs. IVR tells the customer how long the wait will be.
To assist in resolving the problem, it’s helpful if the customer is able to verify that they are the account holder or nominated user and can provide their phone number and full address, with postcode. Security questions will be asked based on details provided by the customer when they signed up with the ISP.
To track how well it’s performing in terms of customer service, a questionnaire inviting comments and feedback is emailed to
a customer after their issue is resolved.
As of July, survey data showed that 71 percent of queries were satisfactorily resolved by the first person they spoke to, 63 percent of all problems were resolved and, in 65 percent of calls, the customer was satisfied with the advisor they spoke to.
In common with other ISPs, TalkTalk also makes use of the web to help deal with its customers’ queries. Its online help pages are regularly consulted by customers, while the micro-bloggging site Twitter is also being used as a means of monitoring customer issues and informing them of any issues.
Boost your broadband - useful links:
Broadband Survey 2009 index:
- PC Advisor readers' verdict on Broadband Britain
- Our survey says…
- ISP reviews: AOL & Be Broadband
- ISP reviews: BT & BT Yahoo
- ISP reviews: Demon & O2
- ISP reviews: Orange & Pipex
- ISP reviews: Plusnet & Sky Broadband
- ISP reviews: Talk Talk & Tiscali
- ISP reviews: Virgin Media & Zen Internet
- Mobile broadband
- Better broadband for all
- Better broadband, shaping up
- Behind the scenes: a broadband call centre
Survey sponsored by Broadband Genie