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TalkTalk broadband has unveiled a raft of changes to its support systems in a bid to improve customer service and retain its subscriber base.

At a press conference held at the broadband provider’s Preston base, Graeme Nixon, Customer Services Director at TalkTalk, outlined a program of reforms intended to transform the customer experience it offers.

Chief among these is a cultural change within the company’s call centres. This hinges on the introduction of a system whereby the time taken by a member of call centre staff to resolve a caller’s problem will no longer be regarded as a key performance indicator. Instead staff’s efficacy is to be measured by whether the problem was solved during the customer’s first call.

The move has been accompanied by the establishment of a team whose sole responsibility is to deal with enquiries from what are dubbed ‘early life customers’. This term refers to subscribers who call repeatedly during the initial stages of their contract with the broadband supplier, looking for advice over set-up problems.

It is hoped that designating set-up problems to a dedicated team will relieve the burden on agents who are tasked with dealing with other issues. Conversely, new customers will benefit from a tailored, expert service that will enable them to establish their broadband connection as quickly and efficiently as possible. To coincide with this move, TalkTalk has brought in new wireless broadband routers that are simpler to set up.

Elsewhere, TalkTalk has also improved communications with customers over their Go Live date. From hereon in, subscribers will be able to check when they will be able to get online by calling an automated 0800 service and will be kept updated by SMS messages. The firm was moved to make the changes after research showed that six per cent of all calls relate to this subject.

Finally, to more effectively measure the standard of service supplied by agents, an email-driven online customer satisfaction survey is now in operation. This is mailed to customers after each contact and asks them to assess whether the query was resolved, their degree of satisfaction, the likelihood that they would recommend TalkTalk and what changes they would like to see made to the service.

Jessica McArdle, marketing manager at Top 10 Broadband, said: "It's about time that ISPs turned around their attitude to customer services and stopped measuring success on the speed at which they get people off the phone.

"TalkTalk's renewed enthusiasm on this front should offer a breath of fresh air to customers looking for an ISP who won't leave them hanging if their connection goes down."

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