Improving the frequency and quality of Ethernet provisioning updates

Improving the frequency and quality of Ethernet provisioning updates

Dan Richardson, Chief Operating Officer

Dan Richardson, Chief Operating Officer

If you’ve had a chance to read some of our earlier instalments, you’ll already be aware of how we’re collaborating with Openreach to improve Ethernet provisioning for you. It fits into our wider drive to make TalkTalk Business the easiest provider to do business with.

Our focus for improving Ethernet provisioning broadly fits into 3 main objectives:

  1. Reducing the time taken to carry out new installs
  2. Reducing the install backlog, or Work in Progress (WIP)
  3. Improving Openreach's communication with customers during the installation process

In this blog, I’m going to cover objective 3; improving Openreach’s communication. This is a huge area of focus for TalkTalk Business as the status quo simply isn’t acceptable. There’s a lot of work to be done, but I’m pleased to say we are pushing the envelope with Openreach and seeing good progress.

So how have we been improving the communication?

Regularly communicating with our customers

We believe communication and efficiency are key to good service and know that we can’t keep you up to speed with silence. You want your services provided in a timely manner, but you also need constant communication to better understand the installation process, and resolve any issues as and when they. Even the most patient among us will expect an update from their service provider if they have a problem. A lack of communication can also make it difficult for you to plan appropriately and makes managing expectations with stakeholders within your own business very difficult.

That’s why at TalkTalk Business, we’ve set ourselves a new baseline metric for communication, which we call the 5 day Customer Ready Update (or CRU). You can now expect updates once every five days, and every 24 hours if there is a difficulty which puts the installation into jeopardy. We now measure and track all our communications with customers and Partners to ensure that we’re meeting these minimum requirements for responsiveness, keeping you informed and therefore empowered.

In Q2 of this year our success rate for the 5 day CRU was at 95%, up from 50% in Q4 of last year. So we are making great strides and need to maintain that momentum.

Developing new updates to make our customers happier

Regular communication is great, but only if the quality of the updates are of a high standard.

Often these updates are dependent on Openreach and currently, its updates are often created from the engineer’s notes, which can be lacking in detail and inconsistent in format. To remedy this, TalkTalk Business has held joint workshops with Openreach to design a new update format that is clear and straightforward and at each point sets the expectation of what happens next.  This work has been driven directly from the feedback that we’ve received from our customers and Partners. After all, you know better than anyone else what you want and what will ultimately make your lives easier.  This will come to fruition as Openreach rolls out this new process and we expect our customers to benefit from this at the early part of the new year.

Thanks to the steps we have taken with Openreach, we’ve seen very positive feedback from our customers and Partners in our Voice of the Customer programme. But we know there is still a long way to go to get the levels of service that we as an industry can be proud of. By continually working with Openreach to improve the channels of communication, we will look to further improve customer experiences in the year ahead.