Charter UK: Telcos need exec help to tackle customer issues


CEO Paul Clark thinks telecoms companies need to get support from their executives to fight ownership of the problem of customer dissatisfaction

The CEO of complaints management software provider Charter UK has said telecoms companies need to better tackle the problem of customer complaints by changing management culture.

Paul Clark made the comment in response to Ofcom launching a consultation into mid-term contract price rises. The regulator has suggested customers should be able to leave if the cost of their contract goes up during its term.

Clark said that the telecoms industry should look to the financial services industry, which is much more heavily regulated, to learn how to treat customers fairly.

He said: “Even though the financial services industry clearly has its own scandals to deal with, it is taking steps to address its problems. The telecoms industry should take note and consider what lessons can be learnt from this positive approach.”

Clark suggested Ofcom could take a stricter approach: “Whilst it is encouraging to hear that Ofcom is planning a crackdown on telecoms companies that lock customers into lengthy contracts, only to increase the fees after the first year, Ofcom needs to investigate how this has been allowed to happen in the first place.”

Telecoms companies, meanwhile, “need to take much greater ownership of the problem and achieve executive level buy-in.

“Once this has been achieved, it will be vital to implement the right systems, processes and changes to management culture in order to reduce the number of unresolved complaints being passed to Ofcom.

“It is a lengthy and complicated process, but one that is key to improving the image of the key players in this sector, and also the industry as a whole.”