Comet in centre reforms

HR managers at electrical retailer Comet have challenged the image of customer service call centres as sweat shops.

Manager Simon Longbone said measures such as staff forums, a robust and fair progression scheme and proper training of line managers had made the two-year-old centre more employee friendly. Their efforts have been rewarded with an Investors In People award.

He added, “We hope to open an NVQ centre in the future to allow our staff to gain call centre qualifications. Because the staff know that if they work well, they could be selected to be managers they are more motivated to work.

The recognition comes as industry experts prepare to debate the future of call centres next week at Call Centre Expo.

They will question the media perception of call centres and invite delegates to comment on the main issues of the work trend.

• Call Centre Expo, 19-20 September, NEC, Birmingham.

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