BT Openreach delivering “strong improvement” in customer service

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Telecoms provider connecting new customers and fixing faults at quickest rate since it began publishing data two years ago

BT Openreach has reported “strong improvement” in customer service performance, connecting new customers and fixing faults quicker than at any time since performance data was published.

In Q2, Openreach engineers fixed 83.71 per cent of faults within two working days – compared to 74.53 per cent in Q1 and 67 per cent when reporting began in July 2014.

The number of new lines installed reduced slightly from 93.36 per cent to 92.94 per cent from the previous quarter but the number of appointments missed by engineers reduced by more than a third, with BT on track to halve missed appointments by the end of next march from five to two-and-a-half per cent.

Openreach is responsible for installing and repairing around 30 million telephone and business lines across the UK, and its engineers complete more than 175,000 separate jobs each week in exchanges and at street cabinets, as well as those that require a customer appointment.

“Real progress”

BT said Openreach is exceeding all of the 60 service measures set out by Ofcom, and views these objectives as a “minimum, rather than a target”, adding it is determined to continue exceeding them as thresholds get tougher each year.

Openreach CEO Clive Selley said: “Improving the service that we provide to customers, is my number one priority. These latest figures show we’re making real progress and we’re well on the way to hitting my target of halving missed appointments to two and a half percent within a year.

“Everyone at Openreach recognises there’s more to do, but these are encouraging signs that our investments and focus are having a positive effect. We’re recruiting 1,000 engineers this year, and by simplifying the way we work and giving our people the training and tools they need, we will achieve even better outcomes.

“I’m particularly pleased that we’ve managed to repair faults faster than this time last year, despite the wettest June on record.”

Investments

BT said these improved results have been achieved with the help of significant new investments in people, systems, tools, training and process changes.

Openreach has hired more than 5,000 new engineers over the last three years, and is halfway through a recruitment drive that will see 1,000 engineers and more than 200 apprentices join the company by May 2017.

It is investing 50 per cent more into proactive network maintenance, designed to identify vulnerabilities and prevent faults from occurring.

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