EE re-shoring programme to usher in new era of customer service?

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EE, prior to its Orange and T-Mobile merger, had a track record of being rated pretty poorly for its customer service.

Even last year after the two companies were rebranded, EE/Orange was the most complained about mobile provider in Ofcom’s customer service satisfaction report 2013.

Clearly things needed to change, which is why the company’s CEO, Olaf Swantee, recently announced his plans to return the business’s call centres back to the UK, and has followed this up by confirming the re-shoring programme will begin with 1,000 new customer service roles being created on UK shores within the next 24 months; the first earmarked for Londonderry / Derry over the next month or so.    

The repatriation plans are seen as integral in delivering on EE’s aim to completely transform its reputation for customer service capabilities, and are likely to form the basis of the company’s ongoing CS strategy.

"Within 18 months, I want to be able to say that EE has done for customer service in the UK what it has done for networks,” Swantee had explained in relation to the plans, earlier in the year.

The opening of the new customer service centre in Northern Ireland marks the first stage of this move, and is further proof that many businesses, especially in the telecoms sector, are waking up to the growing importance of customer experience management and having a more readily-available, well-drilled, home-based contact centre to cope with an increasingly expectant and omnichannel-savvy customer-base.

“Returning over 1,000 customer jobs to the UK from overseas call centres is a significant part of the strategy to achieve our [customer service] goals,” Swantee stated, regarding the latest announcement. “That’s why I am delighted to announce the opening of our new customer service centre in Northern Ireland.  This is great news for both job seekers in Londonderry/Derry and our customers across the UK.”

While cynics might suggest that job creation has never truly been top of a telecoms providers’ list of objectives, given the spate of call centres outsourced during the 90s and early 2000s, the move home has still been welcomed with open arms by local trade advocates and MPs in NI:     

“I very much welcome EE’s decision to open their new customer service centre and create 300 jobs in the City of Derry,” says Mark Durkan, MP for Foyle. “The endorsement of the City of Derry by the UKs’ leading digital communications company is a great endorsement for the City’s workforce, and I look forward to visiting the centre when it is open.”

In a further bid to deliver on its customer service promise, EE has also announced that it will be tripling the size of its CS apprenticeship scheme, which will now provide opportunities to more than 1,300 young people by the end of 2015.

About Chris Ward

Chris Ward

Chris is Editor of MyCustomer. He is a practiced editor, having worked as a copywriter for creative agency, Stranger Collective from 2009 to 2011 and subsequently as a journalist covering technology, marketing and customer service from 2011-2014 as editor of Business Cloud News. He joined MyCustomer in 2014.

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