BT Chief Executive Gavin Patterson set out a new “refined” strategy for the operator, which includes improving customer experience and launching a new mobile network.
Patterson, who took over from Ian Livingstone in September, outlined three key areas of focus designed to deliver “sustainable, profitable revenue growth” over the next few years.
Delivering a superior customer experience, investing for growth and transforming costs are the three areas the company has identified.
The biggest opportunity lies in prioritising existing customers, according to the CEO, who made the announcement at BT's annual results presentation.
“We want to increase our share of the wallet and [to do that] we need to make [customer] service a priority,” he said. “Customers are more demanding and we need to up our game.”
Patterson highlighted the company’s UK broadband service Plusnet and its multinational enterprise arm Global Services as having a good reputation in the marketplace.
However, he said other areas were in need of improvement. For example, he admitted that the operator had been “taken by surprise” by the uptake of BT Sport which “stretched” contact centre resources.
BT’s go-to customer service metric “Right First Time” improved by 1.5 percentage points over the financial year as the company hired extra engineers and contact centre agents, but Patterson said this was “not as good as hoped”.
“We are making further investments to improve our customer service by enhancing the resilience of our network and training contact centre agents so they will have a wider range of skills,” he added.
BT said it would embark on a “root and branch process redesign” of its culture and operating model.
From an investment point of view, fibre remains the most important across the group according to the CEO.
A commitment to take UK coverage to at least 90 percent of UK premises – it is currently at two0thirds – will be accompanied by an increase in speeds "over the coming years".
To achieve the latter, Patterson said the company is making FTTP-on-demand available across its FTTC footprint, while trials of vectoring and G.fast technology were ongoing.
A deployment of G.fast, which has the potential to deliver up to 1Gbps is at least two-years away, however.
On the content side, Patterson promised more third-party content and channel distribution deals.
The CEO also put some more meat on the bones of BT’s mobile strategy.
The operator acquired 4G LTE spectrum in the UK’s February 2013 auction and officially signed an MVNO deal with EE in March this year.
Patterson said business customers would be first to experience a limited version of the new service this quarter, while retail customers would get access “later this year”.
The strategy is built around single converged offerings that combine fibre and 4G LTE, according to the CEO.
He said this approach was “distinct” from the quad-play marketing of linked products seens elsewhere in the market.
BT is advocating a four-step “inside-out” approach that is designed for heavy indoor data usage.
The EE MVNO deal provides ubiquitous coverage, to which 5.4 million BT Wi-Fi hotspots, a 4G core plus small cells and the acquired 2.6GHz spectrum with a combined 4G/Wi-Fi router will be added.
Patterson said this entire network would take two years to build.
On the cost front, meanwhile, BT said it would continue to focus on efficiencies that have seen £5 billion savings made over the last five years.
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