Jaki has worked at XLN for eight years. She oversees the Quality Assurance team and her main focus is continually coming up with inventive new ways to provide our customers with the best possible service.
What type of customers do you deal with?
We have a huge variety of customers who are running all kinds of small businesses – pharmacies, local newsagents, marketing companies, schools and nurseries, restaurants and even churches.
What do customers like about XLN?
They really like the fact that we always answer the phone within three rings, and that we deal with their queries there and then to try to achieve resolution on every call. That speed of resolution is really important to them, so they can get off the phone quickly and get back to running their business.
Some people are literally still serving their customers while they are talking to us, so our agents are trained to understand and deal with common queries very quickly.
During quieter times many our customers also like having the opportunity to have a good conversation about their business so that we can help them identify areas in which we can help them more, for example by suggesting a product that would be useful for their business. When you have got your own business, you have worked hard for that so a lot of business owners find it really helpful to have an opportunity to talk about how to improve it further.
What do you like most about your job?
We have many different types of customers with different requirements and the best part of my job is finding solutions to their needs. I love coming up with new ideas or way of doing things and then testing them out to see whether they have a beneficial impact on our customers.
If something I suggest doesn’t work, that’s fine, we can change it back quite quickly, but then if it does work that’s great. Recently we have changed our missed appointment fee process, for example; we now ask more qualifying questions at the start of the call and we have already seen the beneficial impact of doing this. That is what I really enjoy, identifying something that has a positive impact on our customers.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
One of the biggest challenges is dealing with connectivity issues such as a fault on the line, because the phone network is run by BT Openreach, not us, and so these things are out of our control.
What do you see as being the key concerns facing small businesses at the moment?
Businesses are a bit concerned about whether there is going to be another lockdown and so many of them are creating contingency plans to ensure that another lockdown would not affect their business in the way it did before. They are a lot more prepared and are finding other ways to do things, for example coffee shops which can now quite quickly just open up at the front and do that type of service without losing business by not having customers inside.
We have also got many customers who are going for a two-pronged solution; as well as having a business phone line they are also getting another phone line at home which will enable them to continue to run their business if we do have another lockdown.
How confident do small businesses feel about the future?
We are seeing a lot more strength in our customers now. We can see them opening more sites and taking advantage of cheaper rents as other businesses have closed down moved out. For me it feels like they are 75% back in terms of being positive.
Why do you like working for XLN?
One of the things that makes me really proud of working for XLN is that throughout the lockdowns we were offering Covid discounts to our customers, and I am not aware of any other telecoms providers that did that. For many in the telecoms market, it is all about getting new business and new customers and there is less interest in taking care of existing customers, but during those periods we were able to show all of our customers that we really do care about them. To me, that was a really nice touch.