22nd Jan 2016
BT Group’s forthcoming merger with mobile phone network EE could have a noticeable impact on customer service across the telecommunications industry, Jo Causon, chief executive of the Institute of Customer Service, reveals.
The £12.5m deal – now approved by the Competition and Markets Authority – brings together the UK's largest fixed-line and mobile telecoms businesses. The resultant telecoms giant encompasses fixed-line phone, mobile, broadband and TV offerings, which will now operate under the same service strategy.
“News of the impending purchase of EE by BT Group raises questions about the level of customer service UK consumers may get,” notes Causon, who believes customer-facing organisations should not underestimate the significance of the union.
Despite showing signs of improvement in the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index, released this month, the telecommunications sector ranked lowest out of all 13 sectors analysed. The merging of two of the industry’s key players will put customer service firmly in the spotlight, with the building and maintenance of reputation and trust becoming more significant than ever.
“Where customers have greater choice and greater trust in a brand, they are more likely to recommend it to others,” Causon explains. “In a relationship-led economy, organisations aspiring to anything less are placing long-term business performance at risk.”
She concludes: “Only a long-term focus on the quality of relationships – with employees, customers, partners and collaborators – will enable organisations to thrive and prosper.”