BT creates 1k jobs as customer services shifts back to the UK

BT has announced the creation of 1,000 new jobs as it continues the pursuit of answering customer calls in the UK and Ireland by the end of 2020.

Having brought 1,100 jobs back over 2017, BT has stated it will no longer use contract roles and has created these new permanent positions across a number of locations including in Blackburn, Canterbury, Dundee, Sandwell, and South Shields.

“We’re continuing to invest across the UK to give our customers the best connections, service, and experiences,” said BT Consumer CEO Marc Allera. “These new roles will provide better job security, and will mean our people can focus on putting our customers first and offer the best help and support, whether on the phone or online.”

While this is a move which will be well-received by politicians looking to create PR opportunities, and customers who might have been frustrated with BT’s apparent lax approach to customer services, this should only be recognised as the first step. The slap on the back should be controlled and moderate.

Telcos in the UK are not renowned for their approach to customer service. This is a light-touch opinion on the matter, while others might point out they are in fact truly awful. Numerous studies have placed the telcos at the bottom (or near enough) of the rankings when compared to other verticals.

There does seem to be a trend in the industry however, with the telcos realising treating customers with the attention and respect they deserve is an appropriate way to conduct business. Vodafone is a prime example with the launch of its TOBi chatbot. The option is still there to contact a human representative, but for those who have speed in mind, the introduction of AI is a welcome development. O2 is another which is trialling the technology, with its own customer chatbot powered by the Telefonica Aura virtual assistant.

Bringing customers service roles back to the UK is perhaps nothing more than a PR play, your correspondent banks with HSBC and has found its customer service operations excellent where-ever they are located in the world. That said, turning attention to customer services is maybe a sign the telcos are taking commitments to current customers more seriously. The constant negligence shown to current customers in the pursuit of growing subscription numbers is starting to get boring.