Previously we worked 9am to 5pm, and sales/accounts still do. However the support staff can usually address simple/urgent queries in those areas if necessary.
Occasionally we do have people ask why we only work office hours, and it is worth trying to explain this. Many ISPs do, indeed, have 24 hour telephone support, for example.
For most of our services, there are faults that come in two flavours. Either there is some "shit hitting fan" big issue, in which case we have staff, and myself, getting involved in fixing things whatever time it is, or some individual line fault for DSL. It is pretty rare to have individual faults for VoIP, SIMs, etc, but you can, of course, get line faults for DSL.
When it comes to individual DSL faults, there are a load of things people can do at home/office to eliminate equipment and test for themselves, and we offer various on-line tests via our control pages. This can help resolve things. But the issues that don't just go away, and would require support staff to do something, are almost always something that needs a BT engineer to go out.
With very few exceptions, BT engineers are not going to be going our any quicker if we book them next working day at 9am. So having support staff take calls in the middle of the night would not usually be any help. We also have no intention of farming support out to call centres following scripts.
However, we have decided to extend the hours a bit. The reasons being :-
- BT engineers work 8am to 6pm normally, and so we can help address any issues that come up with an engineer visit, and talk to the engineer or our customer about it at the time. This has already been seen with some 8am visits by engineers who are confused by the notes and need us to explain.
- Starting at 8am gives customers a chance to resolve issues that can be resolved by talking to support before the usual working day for most people. If it is a line fault, that is not much help, but if it is a matter of swap a router or reboot something, we can offer the necessary advice before you have an office full of people that cannot work.
- Starting at 8am and finishing a 6pm allows a lot of people that work during the day to contact us from home where they have an issue with their home broadband. We know some customers appreciate that.
- We have increased the number of support staff, allowing some staggered working hours so that we can offer this.
Obviously we're interested in feedback on how the new support hours work for customers.