Call Centres

Back to all Motions

2003 Energy Service Group Conference
4 March 2003
Carried as Amended

Conference notes with concern the recent report published by Mitial research which claims that one third of Britain’s call centres will close by 2005, due to a predicted exodus of contracts to emerging markets such as India and South Africa.

Conference also recognises that Energywatch and Ofgem intend to focus on customer response times this year. This will put even more pressure on energy call centre staff, unless there are adequate stable staffing levels and a move away from obsolete call time approaches to call centre management. The increased focus by management on target response times not only overlooks the key issu of quality of response, but leads to increased stress and hence increased levels of absence, reducing the overall efficiency of the operation.

A combination of these issues could encourage further consideration of outsourcing to countries with a low wage economy. Reducing costs rather than addressing the real problems. What the industry requires is a focus on a quality approach to customer service with better training, equipped and staffed call centres where employees are encouraged to solve the customers request first time.

Conference therefore calls upon the Energy Service Group Executive to work with the Water and Environment Service Group Executive and the Transport Service Group Executive via the Business and Environment Working Group to engage in a campaign to raise the standards of energy call centres by moving away from target response times and quantitive measures and instead focus on all round good customer service as the best way to resist the outsourcing of jobs to other countries.