My name is Mark Hawks, I worked as a Customer service engineer at BT Openreach for nearly 10 years, joining in January 2006 just when Openreach had been created by BT.
My background before BT had been in the electronic security industry, installing and maintaining security systems.
This meant I was used to installing cables, and fault finding before moving to BT.
At BT I was tasked on a daily basis with installing new telephone lines into both domestic and business premises, but my main role was to diagnose and repair faults on broadband lines. This involved listening to customers’ issues, then identifying the root cause of their problem to rectify correctly.
Towards the end of 2015, I decided to take the leap into self employment and left BT to start MPH Telecom and Data, which although daunting at the time, has proved hugely enjoyable allowing me to meet many new customers, who I can deal with directly without them having to go through multiple other departments or call centres.
Since starting the business, I have aimed to increased my expertise in new technologies, particularly Wi-fi networks, providing numerous solutions to improve coverage for my clients.
Experience Gained at BT
I quickly gained various skills within the company from overhead to underground provision and fault finding of phone lines, ending up specialising in broadband and fibre (infinity) repair on a frontline service delivery team based in Yeovil, Somerset.
During this time, I gained extensive knowledge of how broadband actually works and is delivered from the Exchange right through the BT network, ending up at the customer’s premises.
Most of the technical knowledge gained has been self-taught through actual experience of customer broadband faults, as well as shared knowledge between myself and my colleagues.
I am very customer focused, taking time to speak to my customers to gather as much information about how any problem has developed and what symptoms they are experiencing.
Generally, this will point me in the right direction that I need to head for to locate and resolve the fault.
When working on a provision or installation task, I ensure I communicate with the customer on exactly how I intend to complete the job, in the neatest way possible, with the least disruption or mess, making sure that they are pleased with the end result.
Going it alone…
Gradually over the last few years working at BT there had been various changes in management and policies, which I struggled to embrace.
I felt the company had lost focus on customer service, which I cared deeply about, this ultimately led me down the path to running my own business.
This gave me the opportunity to spend time giving better service to customers, which working for BT, I sometimes felt was a struggle, due to the pressure of the company wanting us to move onto the next customer as soon as possible.
Outside of Telecoms, I serve as a Part time fire fighter for my home village working on a pager system. That means when I’m not working for customers I can be called at any time of the day or night to attend emergency incidents. This has given me experience of working under pressure in sometimes quite stressful situations, which has helped me deal with challenging faults within my telecom career.