BT launches research lab for customer services

James Pearce
Published on:

Dundee-based lab will look to trial customer services solutions for its 1.1m business customers in the UK

BT has announced a new research lab in Scotland that will look at new ways of supporting its base of business customers across the UK.

The Customer Experience Lab in Dundee will trial customer service solutions, with successful concepts being rolled out to BT contact centres and offered to its 1.1 million business customers.

Trials will range from new orders to billing and technical support, and will be carried out by 31 existing BT employees who have been drafted in from the British carriers existing city operations. It will see businesses who contact the centre deal with just one advisor, no matter the nature of the enquiry.

Concepts for the Lab have been developed in collaboration with students from Dundee’s Abertay Business School, with the aim of transforming traditional call centre experiences.

Dundee-based Alison MacKenzie, general manager for BT customer service, said: “We felt we had a great talent pool in Dundee to draw on for the launch, not only among our own employees to staff the Lab, but with Abertay Business School students providing some exciting new ideas which now move from concept to reality.

“This latest BT investment in Dundee is another endorsement of the city’s strategic importance to our UK customer service operations.”

Concepts developed include a “product bench” which showcases working versions of all of BT’s products, allowing advisors to utilise them during conversations with customers to help them relate to their experiences.

BT’s managing director for customer service in business and public sector Trafford Wilson admitted that some of the concepts may not work, but it was about incubating creativity and teamwork to develop innovative solutions.

Wilson added: “Through innovation and trialling new processes, we’re addressing things that our customers tell us we can improve. We know our customers don’t like having their call transferred from one department to another, so we’ve created a team of experts that can handle most enquiries on the one call.”

It comes as BT announced a new senior executive who will lead its public sector business in London and the South East of the UK.

Mark Sexton, who has been with BT for almost 30 years, previously held roles in finance and client relationship. Most recently, he was client partner at BT Global Services.

In his new role, he will head up a recently-expanded team of 22 staff, tasked with building relationships with organisations across local government, health authorities, and educations sectors.

Sexton said: “The public sector remains under enormous pressure to reduce costs and be more efficient against a backdrop of dealing with increasing demand for healthcare, social care, education and other essential services. 

“Technology is a huge enabler and BT’s ICT services and expertise, backed by high-speed, secure, global networks, can help our customers meet these seemingly conflicting goals.”