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Member Service improvements

aspirant


giffgaff is growing... very fast, which is fantastic news. I wish I could share with you exactly how well we're doing but as we've said before it's too commerically sensitive to reveal our exact numbers. Suffice to say we are well ahead of where we thought we'd be at this stage.

However success does bring with it its own set of problems. One of those is that in last 3 months we have seen a very large increase in the volume of account related queries, and port in requests - due to all those new members coming on board.

Port in requests in particular are very manual and time-consuming to process. This has put a lot of pressure on our valiant Member Service agents - who deal with both queries and ports.

In addition, new Ofcom regulations are about to come in (from April 11th) which require all mobile companies to process port in and port out requests twice as fast as they do currently. Again, this is great news for giffgaff (anything that makes it easier and faster for customers to leave mobile compnaies that are failing them is all right with us). But it does mean we have to make sure we can deliver against these timelines.

So to maintain service levels, and fulfil our obligations to Ofcom we are making some improvements to our Member Support operation.

1) Port in process improvements. From April 11th new Ofcom regulations  mean that port in requests must be completed within 1 working day (currently it is 2 working days).

In order to make sure we can do this we are bringing on a small team of new agents who will focus exclusively on ports.The new thing for us is that these agents will be based in India. Both the India and the Derry based agents are provided by the same supplier. So we have complete consistency in approach and management between the two sites. I have personally visited the team in India and can absolutely vouch for their commitment to customer service and professionalism, I look forward to having them join our extended team.

The main reason for locating these porting agents in India is cost. As a low cost business giffgaff needs to keep its operating costs low, and India is a cheaper location than Derry. However we also get a potential benefit from the time difference. India is 5 and a half hours ahead of the UK, so as a unified team it means we have the option of having a working day that starts at 4am UK time. This means we have greater flexibility to turn ports around in the required timeframe.

Having the Indian team focus exclusively on ports also means that the Derry team can focus on account queries - which are typically more complex individual cases which require a deeper understanding of giffgaff operations. To head off a question that I'm sure some will ask... this does not mean that we are looking to move the entire support operation to India in the future. We may expand their remit beyond ports by the end of this year, but we will always keep the Derry team as we recognise that service is not all about cost. There is a benefit for members in having agents who are closer to the core business, and that will not be compromised.

We are currently setting up and training the Indian team on the port process. The first day of porting being handled by the Indian team will be April 4th. Once they are all up and running I will introduce our extended team in the same kind of way we did last year.


2) More agents in Derry. Since we introduced the agent team to the communuity at the end of last year we have increased the Derry team by 30%. Given the recent continued increase in our customer numbers we are going to increase the team again by another 20%. Our new recruits will start in the first weeks of April, and I'll introduce them when they are on board.

3) Longer 'opening times' for agents. We have looked at the trends of when account queries are submitted and are changing our shift patterns for Derry agents, to better cover the periods of peak demand. This also means that we can be more efficient - which in turn means we can extend the overall the time the agents are online.

From Saturday 26th March Derry based agents will be available until 10pm seven days a week (currently they finish at 7 pm).

These changes will mean that we can keep giving members a brilliant personal service even as we grow rapidly as a business.

Thanks

338 Comments

@akisoft. Why are you saying @coolkeith is being racist?

 

This happens all the time when people get annoyed during a discussion. @coolkeith merely asked a question as to how the people he listed would feel if they lost their jobs to an Indian?

 

That is not a racist comment whatsoever.

 

Discussion/Debate is excellent. Mud throwing because you're losing your argument isn't.

 

How would you feel if they outsourced your job overseas @akisoft? It may be closer than you think.

dabbler

 

Coming from an IT background, outsourcing to India makes sense. Companies I have worked for in the past have outsourced basic IT service to India for a long time. This is becasue of the simple fact it is cheaper - overseas technicians, especially the ones based in locations like India are really good at performing simple routine tasks such as password resets / unlocks from an IT point of view, so why should port in / port out requests be any different?

 

It's not like you have to speak to them & if giffgaff hadn't have told you that this was happening, would you have known any different? I think the only thing you would have noticed is the improvement in service & that's not really a bad thing is it?

 

 

I'm sure that if they have any complications giffgaff will have an escalatation process in place for these type of queries to be passed back to the member service agents closer to home who are better equipped to deal with the enquiry

 

I appreciate what some people are saying about the economy & such, but giffgaff are providing a low cost (and in some cases free) service for us. You can't pay for water & expect champagne - I'm sure giffgaff are propping the economy up with plenty of corporation tax etc.

 

aspirant

Outsourcing jobs to india is an insensitive move...

 

Shame on GG!!!

aspirant

Debate is fine, opinons are fine but we don't allow personal abuse, and we don't allow racism - either intended or implied.

 

For clarity in the case of this thread you cannot make generic statements like 'Indians are....[derogatory comment]' because that assumes all people of a given race share a common trait - and that is racist. Even if you never intended to be racist when you wrote it.

 

I have just removed one comment of exactly this type - and I really don't want to see any more. Please think carefully about what you say and how you say it.

 

 

aspirant

"we don't allow racism"

 

The 'race card' is used to suppress dissent on the GG forum - How utterly pathetic!!!

student

 

@akisoft - Read it again and take it in context. Think your trying to jump on to somthing thats not there!
I agree, three with oscillik my experience with three and the indian call centers is they dont know adam from eve! I have had so many problems, lies and inexperience from them and i ask my point again to Vincent or Robbie. Does more members not mean more money so you could afford to pay for more UK staff or is it getting creamed off by the board?
I have a feeling Giff Gaff Just got greedy? 

 

mentor

A mythical "race card" isn't being used to suppress dissent.  I disagree with GG that using (virtually) slave labour Indian call centre staff is a good thing, but I do agree with them that some posts here were outright racist and others are bordering on it with petty nationalism.

 

The pathetic xenophobes are enough to make me suppress my own dissent, as I don't want to be seen as sharing any of their odious opinions.  They would find stormfront or VNN more to their tastes, those sites will allow them to spout their filth all day long.

 

aspirant

I've seen no racism on this thread, GG prohibits racist behaviour on this forum...

 

Stop looking for 'racism' where it does not exist! 

phenomenon

Read through all the comments and have to say, their have been some really silly posts above which I (being Indian myself) have taken offence to and really do have to feel sorry for those new agents working for gg if they are getting this sort of respect without even being given a chance!

 

Implications of all Indians taking part in fraudulent activities, being enslaved, being stupid, being rude does seem a form of racism to me!!

So @daveysludge the 'race card' is not being falsely used by gg staff and others

 

About the the new move, how can one expect gg as they grow to employ more UK based staff and still provide you with cheap rates. Maybe I can help you to understand the savings gg will experience, doctors out there get under £4000, so yeah as people have stated above £1500 for a call centre staff is reasonable. That's 10 for the price of 1!

 

 

Just some other comments i've seen and would like to address;

Click to reveal

@jamesdn - "India is fast become the world's economic superpoer (after China) as it is, they don't need the money" - Really? You should go out there and see the poverty face-to-face, tis a a very moving experience and how their is such a tiering of society out there.

 

@jamesdn - I don't think it's fair to say the customer support will decline as a result of hiring staff in India. - I agree, there are some very very intelligent people coming out of India's education system (like UK) - it's their attitude, the amount of commitment and effort these Indian kids put into school is inspiring and really brings shame on all UK school kids wasting the great opportunity they are lucky to be presented with!

 

@oscillik - I have NEVER ever had a UK based call centre operative hang up on me - That's total cr@p mate, I like yourself have a lot of experience of calling call centres and have to say had equally bad experiences at both ends of spectrum. Reason why most Indian call centres are utter **** is due to poor training these organisations provide for the employees, not that they are incompetent! (though am not denying the fact that some people i've spoken to really shouldn't be working the phones - chai-walla role would be more appropriate - but that's even the case with some of the UK staff i've spoken to)

 

consultant

can we please put this into context and stop swinging from one extreme to the other

I have just had another look at what's being done here the first coment I made I got wrong as far as I understend it it's the porting section that's being moved/setup in indea it is said that by doing this there working day starts at 4am UK time so thay can move numbers over erler then if it was set up in the uk if this means that numbers can be ported in one day then so be it

I remember porting numbers over from one network to the other when it used to take 5/7 working days so I am not complaning

as for the slave labour comment that I am affrade is just rediculus indeas employment laws are diffrent from UK.

yes it may be cheeper to do this in inda but becouse of there time zone if thay can ge the job done in the one day time so be it

I persomaly have no problem with indan call centres exept that you can't understand what thay are saying I stress agin I have no problem with indan call centers as long as thay no what thay are doing.

apart from anything ellse becouse GG is a low cost network it has to keep it's running costs down the truth of the matter is that nothing cames without a price.

as for creating jobs in the uk and having more uk staff we might not be staff and we may not get paid a minimum wage but by helping out on the forums and recruting new members what do you think we are doing. just think about it!!!