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May 06, 2010

Why BT will find it hard to survive. (@BTcare @BTbusiness)

They don't want to - or so it seems. (Below I have run some social media monitoring software to illustrate what the web digs up nowadays, and the metrics we can draw from them.)

But first my reason for spot-lighting BT in this blog.

Logo bt

Yet again I am suffering at the hands of BT and their lack of basic understanding of what and how customer services should run.

This is the second time in 1 year that I have suffered. Completely different reasons but the method they execute remains!

Firstly, it took 9 months to get the right engineer round my house to fix the broadband. At this point I'd had 5 engineers around and each time I got promised the next one would solve the problem, but the next one never came. So I phoned up the charming customer services people (5 attempts per try to get o the right person) to get another engineer round only to be told the same thing because he did not know why he was there!

In the end (9 months later) I forced them to send the correct engineer round - it took him 5 minutes to fix the problem.

This should have been fixed 9 months prior, but no one was listening. All they wanted  to do was tell everyone they were doing something even though what they were doing was not working.

They might have got away with this in times gone by. But now, in these times of web 2.0 and transparency, they cannot get away with it ... and if they understood the social web, they wouldn't even attempt to.  We, the people, the web, the customer are far more powerful than them.  We have a voice and platforms and we're not afraid to use them!

Yesterday I woke up with a dread.  I had to phone BT again.

This time I wanted to know when my business mobile contract was coming to an end.  A simple request you would have thought. I want to change because of the bad service.

It took me 6 phone calls just to get the right number, at which point I spent 45 minutes on hold (I twit pic'd the photo just to prove it whilst 31 mins in)    At this point I was getting a bit fed up so I started talking about them on twitter. Within 30 minutes I had about 15 people expressing their distain and another 20 or so on facebook - but nothing from BT.

4 hours later @btbusiness started to engage me.  I told them they were too late, i had done the work (woefully late) but all they said is "they were there to help me" in parrot fashion. The trouble is if they were there to help me, where were they when I needed the help?

I even got  a tweet or two from one of their managers @iain_mac who insisted they were there to help, even though no one was there when I needed them!!!


And to make matters worse, one whole day later I get a tweet from @BTcare - BTCare, now there's irony for you.

If only they would use the systems correctly - the clue is in the title "customer service" and don't use twitter unless you know how to optimise it.

Below is some metrics I have run for BT. It will show demographics, share of voice and sentiment. With interest is the sentiment: there's a lot of negative sentiment about BT and as I drilled down into it they are not fixing the problem, so the sentiment remains the same.

On the other hand there is positive sentiment about BT.  However, after closer scrutiny it would appear to be a robot from BT saying how wonderful they are!!!

This is not good.

NOTE TO BT: You can't fake the web, or manipulate it, or try to control you.   It (and we) will catch you out.

Dear BT - the difference in getting it right and getting it wrong is actually quite small.  Alas, you are getting it wrong.  You need to change your method, otherwise, you are just causing yourself even more problems ... this blog and all the tweets yesterday are just some of them.   The social media metrics below illustrates this point.


(search pattern was taken over the last 3 months)

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BT are a nightmare. They reduced me to tears in my attempts to get broadband up and running at our new house. It took many hours of calls, waiting, often abusive staff, mixed messages. I moved from BT to sky and O2 and haven't looked back. Recently BT decided (without our authority) to take us off the TPS. This resulted in a month of unwanted cold calling and no apology, for what was potentially illegal act...

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