Tim Ringsdor, the new CEO of LIME BVI said that from his initial assessment it appears that the company is still ahead of the local telecommunications market. Mr. Ringsdor made the comment in his first sit down with members of the media on 30 November.
“Certainly, from the numbers I have seen, I think we are still the dominant supplier and I intend to keep us that way, and I intend for us to grow. I think we have done a reasonable job,” Mrs. Ringsdor announced while stating that he was officially on the job for three days.
The new CEO admits that he has been briefed about LIME BVI’s present challenges, and noted that his experience makes him confident that he can make a difference: “My background is very much customer experience focused. I am a great believer that if you can provide a good customer experience, a business will thrive and flourish, so my focus will be improving the customer experience overall. My previous job in telecom in Jersey was exactly doing this where we had a number of issues, we made a lot of changes in our business…”
Over the last few months, customers dissatisfied with LIME’s service have taken to social media to berate the organization. This situation was put to the CEO who stated that the situation is not grim: “There are a lot of people who are satisfied with the service. So, let’s not paint a picture that it’s all bad. But I am well aware that there are issues here.”
In fact, Mr. Ringsdor said that not only is he aware of the situation, but has placed it at the top of his agenda: “I am absolutely aware that there are issues with certain people speed and service and that is something that is right at the top of my agenda. I have already been having discussions with our technical team and we have a plan, a programme in terms of how we can improve the service to customers,” he said.
“I was in the shop on Saturday and I had a couple of customers who came in, and I was speaking to them. One customer was waiting for a long time for the provision of service, and that’s something we need to improve absolutely highest on our agenda in terms of providing the customer experience and the speed to resolve customer’s faults and provisioning,” he added.
According to the CEO the issues affecting the company’s service is exasperated by the climate of the terrain: “We live in a very harsh environment here and it is not an excuse, and there is some work to be done on the network to improve…We have a lot of overhead cabling here. Obviously with the environment in terms of the weather, whether it’s raining or sun, that can deteriorate cabling quite quickly and it’s much harsher on the equipment over time, whereas if it’s buried, it’s protected a bit more…There is a lot of work….” he added.
“Part of the challenge is obviously to plan for the future and build a company that is going to support the islands both from the business point of view, but also from a consumer point of view, as the demands for the internet are huge now and everybody wants to communicate on a global scale,” he further stated.
The company recently did major upgrades to its network touted to be in the amount of $7M. However, he suggested that more improvement might be needed: “Obviously, it is gonna need some further investment in the network to improve the service…there are a lot of people who are satisfied with the service. Let’s not paint a picture that it is all bad, but I am well aware that there are issues here…”
Overseas Call Center
At the heart of the customers’ complaints about faults is the fact that it is very frustrating calling the company as there is a link to overseas based call centers. However, Mr. Ringsdor said that he does not foresee a change in this.
“It is not unusual for big organizations such as us; and I am sure we are not the only ones here that maybe have a call centre that is not based on island. That’s probably been a previous decision from an economic point of view, but also to ensure that you get the right quality of staff.”
“I am not saying we can’t get them (top quality staff) here, but that’s probably been an economic decision in the past. At this moment in time; no I don’t have any plans to bring that here. I think that’s another area in which I need to get a better understanding as to how our customers are served essentially, and try to ensure that we improve that over time,” he added
Customers were also unhappy with the fact that the company has increased its rates. This was another area that the new CEO said was unlikely to be looked at: “There are rates out there for certain products that will vary between us. But, from what I have seen across the market place, it seems a fair pricing at this stage…I wasn’t involved in that decision and so I can’t comment on that increase and the rationale behind it.”
“I am sure, prior to my tenure, the increases that were made weren’t without thinking about the impact on customers, but also what the competition would do. And that’s where competition comes in. Competition will make sure that the customers have a choice,” he added.