BT, The Hodge and the Rugby Legend
Meeting a legend and being delighted, thank you BT for a fun morning, and for listening.
By Steve Hodges
It isn’t every day I get a call from my BT account team. They are good people and we get a lot of support generally, but we are pretty small fry I guess, and they are very busy so when I do get a call, I tend to take it. Last week I was extremely pleased I did.
“Hi Steve, it is Alex Webb from BT” the call started. “Hi Alex, what on earth could I possibly have done to deserve this honour?” Came my uncustomary facetious response. He was actually asking if I would take part in a customer satisfaction session, some feedback about service, account team, products, blah blah blah. As the blood drained out of my ears I started imagining being on the phone to some unnecessarily positive marketer dolling out loaded questions about how great BT were in order to capture the occasional sound bite of positivity to put my name against. I was about to reach for my ‘too busy button’ when he said. “You like rugby, right?” silence followed as I waited for the trick… “Errr, yes. Very much so.” I answered tentatively. “Good. Well this is being done differently. Alex Tempest has joined, and she has plans to ask partners the right sort of questions and listen to the answers. She has lined up Will Carling to facilitate a session at London Irish Rugby Club next week and we know you will be one of those who will tell it how it is honestly. Are you interested?”
Well, wild horses would not have held me back at that point, and what a morning it was, and Rugby was a great backdrop to some searching questions and some hard-hitting answers. And it was a session where I really felt that the people who had been invited along had valued opinions and were being listened too. It was balanced. There are many things that are genuinely brilliant about BT, the people usually being at the top of the list and these were discussed, even named, but it would seem that the new leadership is keen to hear about what could be improved and are happy to receive that feedback with an open mind and a willingness to understand what is behind it.
Will is an excellent host (as is Alex) and most hospitable. He really represents everything that is great about his sport and seemed like he was really interested in what was going on and the people involved. Poor sod must do this all the time but wasn’t shy of a picture or a signing but also just seemed really interested in the content of the session. The event was being filmed and the content will be use in Alex’s internal sales kick-off event in a few weeks’ time. There was a lot of fun with many rugby versus business analogies and stories of rugby events and situations. It was excellently done, and I was very grateful to be included.
It is worth pointing out that the only questions I had for Alex W when he called – and before formally accepting the invite – were: “Can I wear my Dartmouth Rugby Club hoodie?” and “Would Will like a selfie with The Hodge?” Both of which were honoured as you can see from the photo below.