We never forget that customers always have a choice. That's why we aim to provide great-value products which meet their needs and to back this up with excellent customer service.
Providing great service
At Sky, our motivation doesn't come from winning awards or being first to offer a new technology. It comes from our commitment to give customers a set of products which meet their needs better than anyone else, to help them to get the most from their subscription and to provide exceptional customer service.
To help deliver the great service that our customers expect, we have created over 1,200 new customer-facing jobs this year across the UK and Ireland, including the opening of a new customer service centre in Newcastle. This is part of an on-going programme to bring more of our customer service teams in house and ensure our own people deal with the most complex queries. In the coming months, we will take this approach a step further with the opening of our new Dublin centre to provide a dedicated service to our Irish customers. To ensure that our people are equipped to deal with issues first-time, we have also carried out comprehensive training for more than 10,000 of our contact centre staff in the last year. And our annual FAME awards give well-deserved recognition to those colleagues who go the extra mile to provide great service to our customers.
At the same time as expanding our customer service capability, we are making it easier for customers to contact us in the way that suits them. They can get in touch through a live chat facility on our website or visit our help forum to find the answer to their query, often from another customer. We've also made it easy for customers to go online for basic requests like re-setting a PIN or changing payment details.
We know that great service comes from having great products. By bringing the design of our set-top box in house, we've driven efficiencies and improved reliability, which has led to a 30% reduction in service visits. All our work to super-serve our customers was recognised this year in a consumer survey published by Ofcom, which ranked Sky above all others in customer service for broadband, home telephony and pay TV.
It's important to us that our products and services can be enjoyed by everyone, including those with disabilities. For example, Sky is the only media company to have a specialist service team dedicated to supporting these customers. For deaf and hard-of-hearing customers, we provide over 400,000 hours of subtitling a year and we invest in the development of quality sign language-presented programming through our support of the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust.
We were also the first broadcaster to voluntarily provide audio description, a service for people with visual impairments which is now on 26% of the output on our main channels. And our Sky Talker device, designed in conjunction with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), makes it easier for visually impaired customers to choose what to watch by allowing them to hear information from our on-screen programme guide.