Sky invests to impress its staff and customers

Broadcaster Sky has invested £50 million in refurbishing a call centre in
Scotland as part of its drive to build its brand with both customers and staff.

Group HR director Craig McCoy said the investment was needed to improve the
physical working environment of the 6,000 call centre staff and he said he
believed this improvement would lead to a better service for Sky customers.
"They don’t sit like battery hens anymore. We want people inspired to
serve customers," he said.

He told delegates, at Richmond Events’ Human Resources Forum on the Oriana,
that the Sky’s vision is to make customers feel that staff will go the extra
mile. As part of this process all staff go through a three-day training
programme. This is a big investment, McCoy said, but one he believes will pay
off.

Sky attempts to retain staff – who could easily move to one of the many
competitor call centres – by making them feel involved in the media giant.

"We have developed a theme, and that is being part of the media
business. We don’t pay them more to keep them, we use branding so that they
want to work for a media company."

McCoy said Sky did not measure performance by monitoring the number of calls
logged by staff because taking a lot of calls quickly could indicate that
customers are not getting proper service. "We want to leave the customer
happy. It’s all about quality," he said.

Sky bought in external consultant Mark Radda, of Wolff Olins, to develop the
brand and help internal communication. "The challenge is to speak with one
voice, as one brand," McCoy said.

The company has initiated a leadership forum to support brand development,
at which the chief executive talks through company goals with its 400 managers.
The message is expected to cascade to staff through line managers, backed up by
CDs, videos and Sky’s internal channel, which staff can access in canteens and
meeting rooms.

By Quentin Reade

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