The utilities giant has introduced the three-month test following independent research which found that 66% of its customers believed that their queries would be resolved quicker if they could see the customer service advisor.
In July last year British Gas was fined £2.5m for failing to deal with customer complaints. And managing director Phil Bentley admitted last month that contact centre staff were stuck in the firing line, as customers barracked and abused them over price rises and service issues.
Ian Peters, managing director of British Gas Energy, said: “We hope our online face-to-face pilot will not only make our support and advice as transparent as possible, but will also allow us to add an even more personal touch to the service we offer our customers.”
The video chat service will be offered to some customers visiting the British Gas website with questions about their bill, tariff information or complaint issues.
Users will be sent an email with a link to click on to open a video chat screen, and like with online video chat services such as Skype, they can choose whether or not they can be seen by the customer service advisor.
An initial 20 customer service advisors, based at the company’s Leeds and Southampton contact centres, are to get specialist training to take part in the trial.
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