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									                                        VERSION 1.3
                                       (2nd May 2000)

                             Call Centre Guidelines
                        Part of the e-government strategy
1 Introduction
1.1      Authorship and maintenance

This document comprises best practice guidelines for the use, management and design of UK
public sector Call Centres. The document has been produced by the Call Centre Working
Group, chaired by the Central IT Unit, as part of the e-government strategy and as such is
endorsed by the Information Age Government Champions.

The maintenance of this document is the responsibility of the Central Information Technology
Unit The authoritative text of the document is to be found on the
Information Age Government Champions Web site at

1.2      Authority of the guidelines

These guidelines are intended to deliver Ministers‟ wish that the information and services
provided by government Call Centres should be easily accessible, efficient, helpful, of a high
quality and present a coherent impression of government activity. It is Ministers‟ desire that in
achieving this these guidelines enable government Call Centres become an exemplar of best
employment practice.

The types of services and information delivered by government Call Centres may vary greatly
but the basic principles and good management practice should not.

Departments should be able to account for their adherence to the guidelines, and where
necessary to explain why departure from them may be justified. Compliance with the
guidelines will be an aspect of the reviews of public sector use of Call Centres that will be
carried out by the Cabinet Office.

Departments will be expected to set out their plans to converge with these guidelines as part
of their initial e-business strategies in October 2000.

1.3      Who should read this document

These guidelines should be read by:

     business managers across the wider public sector, including Board members, strategy
      and policy developers;
     Call Centre staff and their representatives.
     Call Centre managers and IT professionals across the wider public sector;
     those tendering for outsourced contracts for Call Centres;
     those providing consultancy to Call Centre developments across the wider public sector;
     officials who wish to use Call Centres in support of service delivery or communication of
      information to the public.

1.4      What is a Call Centre?

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There are many possible definitions of Call Centres, that are focused on a technical definition,
a service delivery definition, or a number of agents definition.

For the purposes of this document the definition is: A facility specifically set up to handle
calls from citizens or business. This facility will be the primary telephone interface with a
citizen or business for specific services or for a department, agency, non-departmental public
body (NDPB) or local authority. The facility will be a structured environment where calls are
handled by a group of agents whose main job is to handle incoming and/or outgoing
telephone calls.

This definition is intended to explicitly include departmental switchboards where they have
become the primary information-giving service for a department, agency, NDPB or local
authority (e.g. a Public Enquiry Unit).

The guidelines are to be applied to all government Call Centres that meet the above criteria,
whether they are out-sourced or run in-house.

2 Aims and scope

2.1      The aims of the document

The Modernising Government White Paper commits the Government to publish guidelines for
a more coherent approach to the use of Call Centres for giving information and delivering

This document concentrates on areas where optimal results can be achieved only by a
common approach across government.

In adopting these guidelines, the Information Age Government Champions have been mindful
in particular of the following aims as set out in the White Paper:

2.1.1 Accessibility
"Make certain that citizens and business will have choice about how and when to access
government services.”

2.1.2 Efficiency, speed of access and helpfulness
"Answer telephone calls quickly and helpfully. *Each department and agency will set a
target for answering calls to telephone enquiry points, and will publish its performance
against this target."

2.1.3 Access to information
"Give staff at call centres and other offices better access to information so that they can
deal with members of the public more efficiently and more helpfully."

2.1.4 A common approach to identification
"A common approach to how people identify themselves when dealing with government
Call Centres"

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2.2   Scope
The document aims to set out
       Why public sector organisations should consider a Call Centre
       Guidelines for effective Call Centre implementation
       Guidelines for technical implementation
       Guidelines for procurement of Call Centres
       Guidelines for staffing of Call Centres

Throughout the document three main needs are addressed:

     Call Centres are an increasingly important interface in the management of government
     relationships with the citizen and business. Call Centres and therefore Call Centre agents
     need to be valued as a primary interface to citizens. Often a Call Centre agent will be the
     first point of contact with government and the interaction will be the ‘moment of truth’ in
     terms of the citizen‟s impression of the efficiency and quality of government.<See
     Sections 3.3, 3.5 and 3.6>

     There is a need for a consistent Call Handling Strategy across government. Policy
     decisions for the delivery of services through Call Centres have so far usually been made
     in isolation within departments, agencies and local authorities. This can lead to confusion
     among citizens as to whom they should contact, difficulty in finding numbers, bouncing
     around of enquiries between departments, agencies and local authorities and provision of
     inaccurate and out-of-date information.<See Sections 3.2 and 3.5>

     For new Call Centres to be effective requires process and cultural change. The how,
     where and when of the conduct of business needs more flexible approaches than current
     processes and structures provide. As part of the introduction of any Call Centre it is
     crucial that there is a clear business case for change that supports and enables
     organisational and cultural re-engineering. <See Section 3.4>

2.2.1 Contact Centres
In drawing up these guidelines the Government is well aware that Call Centres are rapidly
becoming Contact Centres that can deal with e-mail, video, fax, text-chat and voice over IP

Adopting a wider range of contact media for dealing with citizens and business in the contact
centre – which is ideally a highly structured environment for dealing with contacts – potentially
makes it easier for citizen‟s or business to be supplied with a consistent high-quality service.
In some cases it may be appropriate to consider postal communication and face-to-face
contact as part of the Contact Centre, but in other cases this will not be appropriate.

The approach to technical standards in this document takes this into account.

There are, however, wider issues regarding performance targets for e-mail, fax handling and
the integration of these technologies into Contact Centres. Future versions of this document
will provide guidelines on these subjects.

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3 Why public sector organisations should consider Call
The e-government Strategy sets out a vision that “all services which can be electronically
delivered should be”. The strategy proposes that “these services should be accessible over
the Internet and through mobile phones, digital TV, and call centres as well as through
personal computers and that the mix for any service will be determined in relation to
[customer] demand”. The strategy sets forward a vision for “electronic service delivery that
does not do away with the need for personal contact” but rather calls for it to be “better
supported by new technologies”.

Within this context, when used appropriately, a call centre can deliver three benefits:
   better service
   greater effectiveness
   cost savings.
The power of using a call centre approach is that it has the potential to achieve all of these
benefits simultaneously.

3.1     Better service
From the citizen‟s or businesses viewpoint, the call centre can transform the experience of
interacting with government into a rapid single interaction. Call Centres can potentially do this
    eliminating or reducing form-filling and lengthy waits for replies
   interactively making and reviewing decisions about a „case‟ while the caller is on the line
   dealing immediately with any questions
   reducing the effort involved in dealing with government;
    eliminating the most and possibly all (where appropriate) of the need to travel to face to
    face meetings
    dealing with citizens at a time that is convenient to them, e.g. in the evenings and at
At the heart of this transformation is the ability to deal directly with another person who has all
the necessary information and decision making capability at their finger-tips.

3.2    Greater effectiveness
Call centres become effective by placing all the tools needed for the interaction at the call
centre agent‟s disposal, through a computer system, while the agent deals with the caller.
This makes it possible to:
   resolve issues/problems far more easily and quickly than a paper-based process
    eliminate ambiguity by asking questions for example to resolve apparent contradictions in
    the information given to the agent
    routinise and control the process, using the best of current practice in the work of all the
   „intelligently‟ supplement the agents‟ knowledge with screen-based information
    automate those parts of the task that do not require supervision by the agent, in particular
    back-office work, and re-deploy staff from back-office functions to the front line.
Processes that require citizens to complete and post forms can result in a high proportion of
cases requiring further follow-up. The experience from Pensions Direct is that around 40% of
returned forms have mistakes on them and that Call centre-based processes can reduce this
to a few percent.

Call centres are especially effective where:

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    there is an existing process that is well known that is already routinised or can be made
     so easily;
    the process is being re-designed, and a routine process being employed, for example,
    when a new process involves multiple agencies, opening a joint call centre can prove a
    very effective way of dealing with citizens.
    the process has multiple decision points and branches. Using appropriate software, all
    the appropriate information needed by the agent can be delivered to the agent‟s desktop
    as the process progresses.
A routinised process does not mean the content of the process has to be routine, or that no
expertise is demanded of the agents – indeed implementing a call centre can increase the
skills demanded from the agents. However, it does mean that the overall process involved in
dealing with callers must be well defined.

Greater effectiveness can also produce an indirect benefit – the satisfaction for Call Centre
staff of solving customer‟s issues and problems quickly in single phone call.

3.3   Cost savings
Greater effectiveness will inevitably lead to ongoing cost savings, but there are other savings
besides. These include:
   reducing the space needed to deliver service, where appropriate.
    reduce the amount of work in progress by reducing the number of interactions to deal with
    individual cases
   more effective utilisation of staff time.
However, reducing costs should never be the sole focus of a Call Centre project and the
introduction of the Call Centre should result in improved customer service.

3.4    Other benefits
One of the most worrying phenomenon today is the increasing level of abusive language and
physical threats that a small number of citizens exhibit towards „front line‟ staff in central and
local government. Call centres eliminate physical threats and make it far easier to control
abuse by empowering staff to terminate interactions by hanging up and allowing recordings of

3.5    When a call centre is not likely to succeed
There are four circumstances where call centres are not likely to succeed:
   lack of senior management support;
   Where there is strong customer demand for other forms of service access;
   the process is not amenable to routinisation;
   data access problems;
   too strong a focus on cost savings;

3.5.1 Lack of senior management support
Overall, the most vital condition for a call centre to succeed is the commitment of senior
management to making it work. One of the principal reasons is that call centres often require
a fresh approach to the way work is organised. The call centre therefore requires a
commitment to look at business processes afresh. Without this commitment, the call centre
will at best fall far short of its potential.

3.5.2 Inability to routinise
Call centres produce their benefits by routinising the process of interacting with the caller.
Where the process of interacting with the citizen is not well defined or varies a great deal, or
is necessarily a long process there will be difficulties in making a call centre succeed. The

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process itself may be difficult to define, or there may be a new business objective that is not
well understood because it is so new.

3.5.3 Data access problems
Most call centres depend heavily on the ability of the agents working in them to access the
data they need via a computer system. This data falls broadly into two areas:
   „case‟ data – data on the citizen or business being dealt with
      „process‟ data – data that the agent uses to deal with the caller, often derived directly
      from policy.
Though some call centres use data only of the second type, most require rapid access to both
types. If there are insoluble problems in quickly accessing either type of data, this will make it
very difficult for the call centre to succeed.

3.5.4 Cost focus
Implementing a call centre purely to gain a reduction in operational costs tends to reduce
service to citizens which in turn reduces the job satisfaction of the staff. If the call centre fails
to gain the co-operation of call centre staff and callers, it will fail.

3.6      Addressing the challenge of government call centres

Government Call Centres are likely to face far more challenging environments than most
commercial Call Centres. It is very important not to underestimate this challenge while at the
same time moving towards meeting it.

Commercial Call Centres normally have quite a narrowly defined purpose, and will be able to
predict and control the types of call they have to deal with and the content of these calls. In
contrast, government Call Centres will have to deal with a very wide range of calls, and by
their nature a significant proportion may not be predictable. This will be especially the case for
Call Centres whose main mission is to act as the interface between large government entities
(such as entire departments) and citizens and businesses.

These factors make it vitally important for prospective and existing Call Centre managers to
assess and categorise the types of call they receive and the responses that the Call Centre
must give. This will be no small task in itself, but measuring „where you are‟ is the first step to
deciding how to get where you want to be.

Once the calls have been categorised, an „80-20 rule‟ should be sought. It is very likely that a
high proportion of calls (say 80 per cent) fall into a small number of categories (say 20 per
cent of all categories). Once such a rule is identified, it can be used to routinise the 80 per
cent of calls while treating the remaining 20 per cent as exceptions. For example, it may be
that the 80 per cent of calls can be dealt with by general call centre agents, (with appropriate
training and information systems), while the remaining 20 per cent have to be passed on to
specialist staff. It is likely that there are multiple layers of the „80-20 rule‟: within the „difficult‟
20 per cent, it may be that 80 per cent of the calls are less difficult than the remaining „very
difficult‟ 20 per cent.

Once the „easy 80 per cent‟ has been identified, there is the option to provide „self-service‟
facilities for dealing with calls in this category; this is explored further in The choice of
Self-Service <Section 3.5>

Exercises of this type will always be left with a core of calls that are simply too difficult to
routinise and trying to do so will distract effort from solving the problem of efficiently handling
the „easy‟ majority of calls. Indeed, setting in place a system that does handle the „easy‟ calls
will normally make it easier to handle the difficult calls, because more time can be devoted to
them on a case-by-case basis.

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3.7      Call Handling across government

The Call Handling Strategy will support more seamless interaction between government and
citizens and business.

This will form part of a wider Access strategy for government that is currently being worked on
by the Service First Unit of the Cabinet Office, through the Access Service Action Team.

Presentation of consistent information

In order that citizens and business may interact with government more seamlessly the
Service First Unit of the Cabinet Office will:

     make it clearer to citizens and businesses whom they need to contact for services and
      advice by:
         publishing a single list of central government contact details and opening hours on
         the Internet at
     make it easier for citizens and businesses to find the numbers they need by:
         organising the single list based on citizen‟s needs as well as on a department by
         department basis.
     manage the publication of government contact details for advice, information and
      services centrally;
     focus policies on joining up Call Centres around life episodes, citizen or business needs
      or a specific client group.

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4 Guidelines for effective Call Centre implementation
4.1        Setting Performance targets

Call Centres should set performance targets (see below) and publish their performance
against these targets annually.
These targets must be realistic and achievable within reasonable timescales and the
resources available, and must be set in the context of the overall performance of the rest of
the organisation in which the Call Centre exists.
Call Centres should work in partnership with staff and their representatives to achieve a
common understanding of the goals and targets for the Call Centre.
Call Centres should also consider setting different targets for different services or client
groups. This is often an important part of making sure that a Call Centre achieves its
important objectives.
Before the targets are set Call Centres must establish their current performance, preferably
by understanding their current performance against the measures set in these guidelines,
using statistics from their current systems or suppliers. Where these are not available, other
means should be used such as monitoring a random group of live calls or „mystery callers'. It
is acknowledged that some of these methods are not very precise, but some knowledge of
the current position is better than none at all.
It is important in setting these targets that the performance objectives of the service being
offered are clear at a business, operational, quality and people level. Therefore in determining
the targets for answering calls to its Call Centres, departments should also determine and
        the business level objectives of the service being offered (e.g. for NHS Direct this may
         be the number of callers referred to a more appropriate level of care);
        the operational objectives (discussed below);
        the quality of service objectives, e.g. customer satisfaction, level of complaints, etc;
        the people objectives, e.g. staff turnover, sickness/absence rates, training, responses to
        staff attitude surveys etc.
Operational targets

The operational targets should be stated as:
       service level, the percentage of calls answered (plus call abandoned within the
        benchmark time) divided by all calls whether answered or abandoned. For example, 80
        per cent of calls answered in 60 seconds (often expressed as 80/60) .
This target is a powerful and easily understood measure, but should never be quoted in
isolation because so doing leads to unrealistic expectations. It is counterbalanced by the
management measures quoted below: too high a service level will lead to too low an
occupancy level and vice-versa.

The following management measures will assist in meeting the operational target and
contribute to the overall picture of Call Centre performance:
       agent occupancy (the percentage of agents‟ available time spent on calls, including
        follow-up work specific to calls;
 Once accepted by the ACD. Note also the requirement (below) to state busy signal rates.
 For consistency purposes these measures should not include the time taken by a customer in an IVR
self-service or call-steering transaction.

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       call abandonment and unavailability (busy signal/engaged tone) rates, as percentages of
        all calls;
       average call length of all completed calls;
       the proportion of enquiries that are dealt with in a single call, without the need for the
        caller to be called back or to call again;
       fulfilment despatch (e.g. orders for literature despatched within x days).

In addition, these operational objectives always need to be placed in context, and other
appropriate operational statistics given, such as typical call duration, the total volume calls,
the volume of calls in the busiest period (either 15 minutes or one hour), and the typical cost
of servicing each call.
It is important to ensure that operational objectives are not pursued to the exclusion of
business and other objectives.

A weekly picture of performance would help Call Centres‟ understanding of seasonal and
specialist demands.

4.2       Handling implementation as part of business re-engineering

In deploying new Call Centres, or new services into existing Call Centres, it is recommended

        the business process being applied to the Call Centre is viewed from the citizen's
        perspective. For example, this may be achieved by including citizens or citizen‟s
        representatives (e.g. NACAB, Consumers Association) in the earliest stages of
        development and/or through using market research, feedback from front line staff, trials
        or focus groups.

        a key principle in the design of the Call Centre will be that the majority of calls to a
        published Call Centre number should be capable of being handled directly by the person
        answering the call, or by a single answered transfer . Call Centres will be asked to
        publish annually the percentage of calls that are handled directly by the person answering
        the call.

         in the design of a Call Centre service the impact on „service providers ‟ should be a
        primary consideration. The level of service Call Centres offer will on many occasions be
        determined by the level of service provided by a „service provider‟. It is recommended
        that where it is appropriate, a Service Level Agreement be put in place between the
        „service provider‟ and the Call Centre to ensure that the required level of service can be
        provided to the caller.
        Call Centres, particularly where they are routinely handing calls or tasks off to back
        offices, other agencies or other Call Centres, should consider the appropriateness of
        putting in place or using existing systems to record contacts with citizens, referral to back
        offices, referral tracking and response/completion. Depending on the service this may
        involve recording full contact details or just statistics.
        there is an internal communication and education plan to ensure that all staff are aware
        of the role of the Call Centre, its boundaries and when they should refer calls to the
        dedicated Call Centre facility. This means communicating very clearly the Call Centre
        services and ensuring, where appropriate, that staff are trained to refer or divert direct
        callers to the Call Centre.
  It is recognised that this may be difficult to measure precisely and if this is not possible then estimates
should be made.
  A service provider in this context is any individual, or group of people, outside direct management of
the Call Centre, who are essential to the delivery of the Call Centre service to the customer. This may
be a co-located, but separately managed paper-based processing team, another department, or an
element of the service that is sub-contracted.

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4.3      Setting Opening hours

Departments deploying Call Centres should undertake customer research into current and
potential future demand for opening hours as part of the service definition.

The people's panel has undertaken government wide research into demand for service
opening hours and the results have been published on the Service First website at

4.4      Charges for calls

      Call Centres offering a national service should, as a minimum, offer a number that is
      chargeable at the same rate from any fixed telephone, regardless of location of the caller
      within the United Kingdom (national rate or local rate number).
     The choice of a national rate, local rate, freefone or premium rate number should be
      determined by the individual business requirements.

4.5      The way calls are answered

All agents answering calls should do so in the same format:

“Good morning/afternoon/evening, (name of department or service), (agent name) speaking,
can I help you?”

The agent name is so that callers can refer back in subsequent calls. This may be an
“adopted” name.

4.6      Recording of calls

When calls are being recorded for audit or coaching purposes there is a legal obligation to
advise callers of this fact. OFTEL guidance states that “Every reasonable effort must be made
to inform all parties to the telephone conversation that it may or will be recorded.”

This warning may be in promotional leaflets, in the announcement system while callers are
queuing or in advertising, and may not necessarily need to take place at the point of the call

Staff should also be made aware, in advance that calls are being recorded and the purpose of
that recording. More guidance on the use of monitoring and recording for coaching purposes
is given at Section

4.7   Using Interactive Voice Response
Poor design or inappropriate use of Interactive Voice Response (IVR) leads to poor
perceptions of the quality of government services.

However IVR also has great potential in two roles:
  an adjunct to call centres
  a self-service medium (this is discussed below under “The choice of self-service”).

 OFTEL Requirement under the Privacy of Messages condition of the Self-Provision Licence
(SPL) and the Telecommunication Services Licence (TSL) – Sections 7.3 and 7.4

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IVR is a powerful means of improving customer service and operational effectiveness, but it
must be applied appropriately and systems and dialogues designed properly. IVR has gained
a bad reputation in many quarters because of inappropriate use and bad design.

In a Call Centre environment, this means providing a list of options to callers. Appropriate
uses include:

     providing a list of languages spoken (in these languages);
     identifying different types of call and directing them to different groups of specialist
     identifying the caller ahead of the call being answered (where callers have alphanumeric
      identity numbers) and (where necessary) provide security clearance;
     offering the caller simple information that may remove the need to speak to an agent.

Where on-hold waiting times are significant, it may be appropriate to play information
announcements to the caller, to remind the caller of any available self-service options and to
inform the caller when the less busy periods are, so the caller has the choice of calling back
during these times.

In considering the use of IVR within government Call Centres departments should review any
proposed dialogue against the Dialogues 2000 Dialogue Engineering Style Guide for
Interactive Voice Response Dialogues which is available from the Dialogues 2000 team,

This guide covers industry best practice in requirements capture, dialogue representation, the
composition of voice messages, the recording of voice messages and the usability evaluation
of services.

New IVR dialogues should undergo usability assessment through a trial with citizens before

It is also recommended that the usability assessment is repeated at least annually.

Monitoring the call statistics (e.g. abandoned interactions) will also show up problems in IVR

4.8     Providing ease of access
     Ease of access for those who are hard of hearing should be provided by:

                     a textphone system;
                     operators trained in the effective use of the TypeTalk service.

If a textphone system is deployed then it should be checked monthly to ensure continued
correct working and agents should be given regular training in its use. In addition Internet
access with „Text-Chat‟ can provide an alternative access mechanism for those who are hard
of hearing.

      Ease of access should be provided for those whose first language is not English. As part
      of the design of a Call Centre service Call Centre managers should identify the potential
      demand for the service in all languages. The demand could be met by matching
      recruitment profiles to the language requirements or by use of a service such as
      Language Line.
      Call Centres will be asked to report annually on the number of calls where callers
      specified a language preference that was not met (classified by language).

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4.9    Ensuring the quality of the call
Callers themselves are key to providing information about the quality of the service being
offered. It is recommended that all Call Centres monitor the quality of the service they are
providing at least annually.

Some of the main methods of achieving this are through:
                     A survey of callers on the telephone or by post. Callers are often
                      happy to give a telephone number on which they may be contacted
                      later and asked their opinions on the service, or you may give them a
                      freefone number to call, or transfer them to a researcher at the end of
                      a call. Each method has advantages and disadvantages in terms of
                      take-up and the type of information that can be gathered.
                     „mystery calling‟
                      This involves obtaining the services of someone to pose as a caller in
                      order to test the service being provided. It is important that Call
                      Centre agents are made fully aware of the reasoning behind the
                     Listening-in to or recording calls.

In addition, Call Centres should ensure that there is a complaints handling and escalation
procedure in place for callers to use. This may be a business-wide or business process
procedure rather than purely a Call Centre procedure.

The results from all the above methods may be used to refine Call Centre and business
processes and operation.

4.10 Provision of consistent information

Call Centres should empower their agents by giving them access at their fingertips to the
information and tools to meet caller demands and the appropriate training to ensure that they
are focused on citizens‟ needs. The effectiveness of a Call Centre in meeting customer needs
will be largely reliant on deploying appropriate information systems and ensuring that they
work effectively in the relevant Call Centre environment.

In order to increase the accuracy and consistency of information provided to citizens,
regardless of whom they call within government, Call Centres should monitor annually:

                    the percentage of calls transferred to other government departments,
                    agencies, NDPB and local authorities (categorised by department, agency

                    the percentage of calls where caller is referred (i.e. given a telephone
                    number to ring) to another government department, agency, NDPB and
                    local authorities (categorised by department, agency etc);

                    the percentage of calls where the call is not handled or referred
                    (categorised by department, agency etc).

The Central IT Unit of the Cabinet Office will analyse the results from the management
information provided and prioritise the implementation of a common information system.
CITU will then investigate the potential implementation of a common information system
for agents that signposts across the wider public sector:
                 contact names and numbers;
                 service experts;
                 basic information for call routing.

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The common information system should be based on the GSI, a common directory, common
data exchange formats and a virtual voice network for the transfer of calls. It will take into
account the need for data protection and privacy.

4.11 Providing the choice of self-service

    Self-service channels (Internet, kiosks, digital TV, interactive voice response, speech
    recognition, automated e-mail response) require access to the same information used by
    Call Centre Agents, although it may be displayed in different formats. Design of support
    systems for agents should bear in mind possible future use by the end-customer directly.
    In the design of any Call Centre information systems, consideration should be given to
    the use of information sources from, or for other delivery channels.
    Where a Call Centre is primarily providing information, consideration should be given to
    providing the same information on a website, allowing Call Centre agents to add greater
    human value in more detailed enquiries.
    Consideration should also be given at the design stage to the linking of Call Centres to
    other delivery channels. (e.g. the use of „call-me‟ buttons on websites, Digital TV and
    Self-service plays an important role in extending the hours of availability and offering an
    immediate response (rather than waiting in a queue) to citizens and businesses; it also
    can relieve the Call Centre of repetitive routine work. For these reasons, all the self-
    service media should be regarded as potentially important, and their design, especially of
    the menus and dialogues, should be given a high degree of attention.

4.12 A common approach to citizen identification

A common approach to how citizens identify and authenticate themselves with a Call Centre
in order to access government services electronically over the telephone is set out below. Call
Centres should examine their current identification processes against this common standard.

Call Centres should also be aware of the government‟s Authentication Framework. Alignment
of the Call Centre Guidelines with the Authentication Framework will result in the production
of a Call Centre profile for the recommended Trust Levels 0,1,2 and 3.

Levels of identification and authentication should vary according to the nature of the
transaction that is being performed.

1. Class 1
Provision of information on government services that is not specific to an individual

Examples         Provision of leaflets, oral information, tourist information by post.

Identification   No identification of the individual is required and should not be requested.
                 Provision of material through the post requires name and address, but there
                 is no reason for verification.

2. Class 2
The disclosure of personal information by government to an individual

Example          Pension forecast, dates of payments, tax liability, payment values.

Identification   Random permutation of minimum of two pieces of personal information from,
                 for example:
                 Full name
                 Date of birth

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                 Identification number (e.g. NINo or Tax ref as appropriate to the service)
Plus a piece of information only likely to be known by the caller, for example
                 Mother's maiden name
                 Random digits of a PIN number

3. Class 2a
Disclosure of personal information to government by an individual that could affect payments
to, or liability of the individual

Example          Change of circumstances (address, name, marital status)

Identification   Random Permutation of minimum of two pieces of personal information from,
for example:
                 Full name
                 Date of birth
                 Identification number (e.g. NINo or Tax ref as appropriate to the service)
Plus a piece of information only likely to be know by the caller, for example
                 Mother's maiden name
                 Random digits of a PIN number
Written proof of change of circumstances may be required by statute or may be a sensible
fraud prevention activity. In the case of benefits payments it may be necessary for a site visit
also to take place

4. Class 3
Payment for a government service by an individual

Example                   Purchase of TV licence

Identification            Valid credit or debit card details
                          (This may be in addition to identification of Class 2a, depending on
                          the service, e.g. purchasing of books may only require card details,
                          paying your TV licence would require Class 2a identification)

5. Class 4
Payment to an individual by government

Example                   Benefit payment

Identification            Any innovative arrangements will require identification appropriate to
                          audit and risk assessment requirements. With the emergence of new
                          technologies and processes we will keep this class under review.

6. Registration
Initial registration for a service by an individual

Example                   Passport application, driving licence application

Identification            Any innovative arrangements will require identification appropriate to
                          audit and risk assessment requirements. With the emergence of new
                          technologies and processes we will keep this class under review.

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5 Technical standards
5.1   Objectives

In the private sector many Call Centres are becoming multi-media contact centres in order to
provide consistent service across a choice of access mechanisms, including:
             e-mail
             website interaction (e.g. „show and tell‟ and „Call-Me‟ functionality)
             text-chat
             fax
             post
             voice-over-IP telephony
             standard voice calls
             video.

In the past it has been difficult for Call Centres to upgrade their technology and add in new
services. This has been due to the lack of open standards in the industry, the high cost of new
services or the high cost of systems integration and operation of new services, all based on
different technologies.

The objectives are therefore:
        suitability for purpose: applying an architecture and standards that are suitable for
            the business purpose;

             enabling Call Centres to take on new technology at minimum cost and minimum
              disruption to existing services;

             enabling ease of integration with government enterprise wide legacy IT Systems
              (Databases, legacy mainframes);

             enabling ease of integration between Call Centres;

             enabling ease of integration of new applications, management information and
              Computer Telephony Integration packages into existing Call Centres.

5.2   An open architecture

For all new Call Centre deployments the use of an open architecture should be considered,
so as to allow for the future provision of
          e-mail handling
          website interaction (e.g show and tell and Call Me functionality)
          text-chat
          voice-over-IP telephony
          video
          Computer Telephony Integration (CTI).
The Enterprise Computer Telephony Forum (ECTF) recommends a suitable open architecture

Any proposed architecture should be closely examined to determine whether it meets the
objectives set in section 3.8.1.

5.3   Standards

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The following are emerging standards that departments should consider in pursuing the
stated objectives:

          the ECTF M.100 standard for server to administration applications interoperability
          the ECTF C.100 (JTAPI) standard for call control interoperability
          the ECTF S.100 standard for application interoperability (C level API specification)
          the ECTF S.300 standard for Service Provider Interfaces.

More details of all of these standards can be found on the ECTF Web site at

          the H.232 standard for integration of Voice over IP technology into government Call

In addition departments should ensure that plans are made for all Call Centre agents
desktops to be IP-enabled and have access to browser technology, opening the way for wider
use of IP-based technologies in the future.

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6 Procurement guidelines
6.1    Objective of this section
This section provides advice on the issues to take into account in procuring call centre
systems and services. It concentrates on the differences from the procurement of other types
of systems and services, and the additional considerations and actions that are required in a
call centre project.

It does not attempt to describe the complete procurement process and is in addition to
existing procurement advice such as that published by the Cabinet Office on Best Quality
Services (BQS).

For simplicity, most of these guidelines speak of a single call centre, but the same principles
apply to multiple call centres.

6.2      At the start of procurement process

6.2.1 Setting the objective
The call centre must have a set of business objectives, formulated in business terms that can
be easily communicated. Call centre projects without clear objectives tend to encounter major
The more precisely and realistically these objectives are formulated before any procurement
activity commences, the better. While narrow objectives are easier to address, if the needs
are not genuinely narrow, there is no point in forcing them into a narrow definition. The
proposals from prospective suppliers should be judged on their ability to meet the business

6.2.2 Sizing the call centre
Predicting the size of a brand new call centre is always going to be a challenge, but it still has
to be done in order to secure a successful procurement and implementation. Any organisation
considering whether introducing a call centre is appropriate should start by collecting as much
data as it can about its existing calls. The more information that can be gathered, the better.

Project managers can then begin to estimate the likely size the call centre, based on:
   the number, length, timing and subject of phone calls currently received.
     the estimated increase in these calls when a call centre service is introduced
     the likely length of calls – for example are the typical interactions with callers likely to be
      more or less complex than they are at present
     the time staff spend on pre- and post-call activity
     the likely staff occupancy
     the prospective efficiency gains from dealing with callers in one interaction rather than
      multiple interactions
     Any hourly, weekly or seasonal variations in peak call traffic;
     any other factors that are pertinent to the project in hand.
The final call centre sizing work may require specialist assistance (for example, from vendors
of automated call distribution systems who typically have load simulation capabilities) and
even then it will always be an estimate, so it is worthwhile to have contingency plans.

6.2.3 Determining data access and technical integration
The most problematic part of most call centre projects is giving the agents access to the data
they need to do their work. Accessing and updating with „customer‟ data where that data is
not „owned‟ by the organisation setting up the call centre can cause particular problems, as

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can „customer‟ data that is spread across multiple systems, that has duplication and
reconciliation problems. Therefore, one of the key issues to determine before beginning the
procurement process is to establish:
   where the data is located
   who „owns‟ the data.
   the degree of duplication
   any reconciliation problems
   how it can be accessed
Requirements for data interchange, access and technical integration need to be set out in the
service requirements for the Call Centre.

A serious problem with data access is a valid reason for postponing or cancelling a call centre
project, as it can make it impossible for the call centre to meet its business objectives.

6.2.4 Future-proofing the call centre
Call centres may need to change rapidly and radically. For example, many call centres create
demand for their services and have to be scaled upwards. New trends are emerging in call
centre capability; there is an increasing need to consider distributed and „virtual‟ call centres
that have multiple sites. Also the ability to handle transactions spanning multiple media, such
as web transactions and e-mail but also fax and post, is becoming important, especially in
dealing with enterprises. It is therefore important that the ability for call centre to „flex‟ is part
of the requirements document.<see Technical Guidelines section>

6.2.5 Involving the call centre management
Involving the right people is important in any procurement process. In a call centre project, the
management team that will eventually run the call centre must be closely involved in the
procurement process from an early stage if at all possible. If the call centre is new, this should
mean recruiting the call centre manager and deputy managers in time to participate fully in all
the principal stages of the procurement.

6.3     The outsourcing, co-sourcing and ‘in-house’ alternatives
Outsourcing is where a supplier provides an ongoing service in return for a fee. Co-sourcing
is a type of outsourcing where the investment needed to set up the service is jointly funded by
the customer and supplier. In the right circumstances, co-sourcing can lead to a lower
ongoing cost for the service and a higher degree of collaboration than is typical in
„conventional‟ outsourcing.
Outsourcing a call centre can be done at multiple levels:
    outsourcing of the entire call centre operation, including the staff functions and their
    outsourcing the entire call centre infrastructure, buildings and technical, but not the staff.
    This may be achieved by renting call centre spaces
    outsourcing the technical infrastructure of the call centre, for example buying network
    services from a telephone operator rather than your own switch or getting an IT services
    provider to provide the IT infrastructure.
    a „tactical‟ level where you retain control over the processes in an existing call centre but
    place specific „work packs‟ externally to a call centre agency. This may include outsourcing
    overflow and/or outsourcing specific bundles of time-limited work, especially work that
    does not require access to confidential data, for example requests from members of the
    public for an information pack.
All these are potentially valid choices, depending on circumstances. The first three are
strategic and require considerable investigation. The fourth is easier to consider provided
there a discrete „work packs‟ that can be delegated to an external agency. Taking this into
account, it can be used to reduce the capacity needed by the call centre. (It is also an option

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that all existing call centres should consider, budget permitting, if they are having problems
with high call volumes and meeting performance targets.)
An important consideration in any outsourcing contract whether strategic or tactical is the
disengagement planning. The supplier must provide watertight guarantees that the contract
can be terminated in an orderly way and the service resourced in some other way.

6.3.1 Reasons for considering outsourcing
There following are reasons to consider outsourcing as a potential option for provisioning the
call centre:
    When the call centre is going to have difficulty in meeting its service level targets in a
     cost-effective way on its own. An outsourcer has access to a much larger pool of
     resources than a small call centre operation; these resources can include management
     skill, human resources, technological resources or operational expertise. The outsourcer
     should be able to offer greater flexibility and „scalability‟ (the ability to increase the size of
     the call centre).
    Where the capabilities that might be outsourced are not „core competencies‟ of the
     department that is procuring the call centre. In some cases the capabilities may be seen
     as a distraction to the main organisational objectives.
    Where the capital requirements for building a call centre are difficult to meet. In general,
     the private sector currently has relatively easy access to investment capital.
    When the function under consideration for outsourcing is easily defined, readily
     achievable and good performance is easy to measure and incentivise. If this is not the
     case, managing the contract with the supplier is going to be overly burdensome.
    Where there is going to be a problem acquiring the skills needed to operate a call centre.
    Where some flexibility in sizing is needed, for example where it is difficult to predict the
     size of the call centre or where the volume of calls varies strongly over time.
On the latter point, contractual conditions need to be carefully specified so that passing some
possibly arbitrary threshold in call volumes, for example, does not lead to a steep increment in

6.3.2 Reasons for „in-sourcing‟ the call centre
The following are reasons for considering developing the Call Centre in-house. They apply
most strongly when compared with outsourcing of the entire call centre
   Where the function under consideration for outsourcing is not easily defined, not readily
   achievable and good performance is difficult to measure and incentivise. These
   circumstances will tend to create problems in any call centre, but will lead to constant
   disputes with an outsourcer. (An in-house small-scale pilot can help to discover how
   serious a problem these issues are in practice.)
          Where core competencies or core skills are needed in the call centre.
          Where staff in the call centre have other skills that the organisation does not wish to
          risk losing, even where these skills are not core connected to competencies.
          Where staff may move from working in the call centre to other parts of the organisation
          (and vice-versa) on a regular basis.
       Where call centre staff are involved in doing work other than answering or making calls.
    Where the information required for answering calls is not well developed, organised or
    even understood because of the newness of the call centre. This will typically be the case
    in a pilot project, but also in call centres that have a broad mission.
       Where there will be a substantial problem „disengaging‟ from the chosen supplier.

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7 Staffing the Call Centre
These Call Centre guidelines call for more customer-focused service and improved call
handling in public sector Call Centres. It is important to recognise that Call Centre agents,
team leaders and managers are critical to achieving this goal. Their proper motivation,
recruitment, retention, training, reward, health and safety are essential elements of effective
use of Call Centres in the public sector.

Call Centre staff must be provided with user-centred and customer-focused information and
support systems in order to deliver the level of service that is desired.

In achieving this Call Centres should:
 work in partnership with their staff and trade unions:
           o recognising and valuing the central role of all staff in the Call Centre;
           o having a common understanding of the aims and goals of the Call Centre;
           o having an agreed work culture (attitudes, beliefs and behaviours) in common
                with the rest of the business;
           o having a shared commitment to training every individual in the Call Centre;
           o encouraging and supporting staff to identify and enhance their own skills;
           o having an inclusive relationship between the Call Centre, staff and their
 adopt high quality employment standards;
 employ robust equal opportunity policies.

Many existing HR policies and practices are directly applicable to the Call Centre situation,
however there are particular issues that require special attention in this environment.

7.1    Working patterns
Traditional public service conditions offer a core time, of between 10am and 4pm and flexi-
time outside of these hours.

However, the customer facing nature of the Call Centre environment requires certainty for
managers on the number of staff available to answer and make calls at a particular time of
day, and the need to support extended business day.

The associated change in working patterns for staff will need to be worked through with the
appropriate Unions against the background of a clear understanding of the business need
and the calling profiles to the services being provided.

Once the business need and call profiles are understood there are a number of potential ways
of achieving working patterns that match the business requirements. These are not exclusive
and their successful application will depend on their appropriateness to the business need
that is being met.

    Maintain a flexi-time system with the flexi time to be worked being agreed at a team level.
    Typically this method has been used successfully with teams of around 12 Call Centre
    agents. The team is responsible for ensuring staffing to a certain agreed level, but they are
    able to decide which agents work particular hours amongst themselves. This has the
    positive effect of empowering staff to take control of their own working patterns, within
    agreed boundaries, whilst ensuring appropriate staffing levels. An understanding of
    individuals general working pattern preferences can be helpful in setting up the teams
   The identification of shifts that are not popular with full time staff can lead to the creation
    of new posts to cover extended working hours (e.g. 4pm to 8pm). Recruitment to a wider
    range of part-time shifts (4 or 5 hours) can give great flexibility to staff and be family-
    friendly as well as giving flexibility to the Call Centre manager to meet peaks in demand.
    There can be positive benefits in building a team spirit from having teams working the

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      same shifts, with opportunities before and after the shift for teams to receive information
      and discuss problems, concerns or advice.
     Where Call Centres are co-located with the appropriate "off-line" processing centres then
      skilling staff for the Call Centre and the "off-line" environment can be a good way of
      providing variety to staff and flexibility to Call Centre managers. However different skill
      sets are required in these different environments and therefore will not be appropriate for
      all staff. In this environment Call Centre managers would need to work to ensure that staff
      are appropriately skilled for the Call Centre environment and that these skills are
      maintained on an ongoing basis.

Many of these approaches can be deployed within current public service terms and
conditions. All of the approaches can lead to an element of flexibility in providing part time
work. Evidence from the private sector is that varied shift patterns to suit different working
hours needs can be very beneficial in providing jobs that are family friendly and promote

7.1.1       Supporting Flexible Working
The degree of flexibility in working patters that is required in a Call Centre environment means
that the HR role is considerable, and requires close attention. Co-location of the HR function
with the Call Centre is advisable in larger Call Centres.

The provision of appropriate IT systems is essential to enabling flexible working. The IT
Systems are required to make it straightforward for staff to find customer focussed
information, support continuity in tracking customer problems across shifts and enable staff to
work on multiple products and services.

7.1.2       Home Working

The technology exists to support working from home, which has the potential to give another
element of flexibility and convenience to Call Centre employees and managers.
However, in considering whether to use home workers in Call Centres the following issues
need to be taken into account:
        The security implications, both physical and technical of allowing home working for
        Call Centre agents who are required to access Government data in order to carry out
        their job.
        The needs of the Call Centre agent to interact with their colleagues for social reasons
        and in order to remain in touch with changes to working practice and service delivery.
        The ongoing training needs of the Call Centre agent working at home.
        The ongoing management of geographically dispersed resources.

7.2        Resourcing Strategy

In approaching the resourcing of a Call Centre the following approach should be taken:

      1. A clear analysis of the skills required to meet the identified business need;
      2. The creation of job descriptions from an analysis of the business process design;
      3. An evaluation of the jobs required using existing Job evaluation schemes. ;
      4. Where re-deployment of existing staff is a desired outcome, an audit of the skills
         needed versus the skills available should be undertaken.
      5. The creation of a resourcing strategy for the Call Centre.

In the majority of cases the creation of new Call Centre specific grades will not be appropriate
and existing Civil Service grades can be deployed.

 CITU is currently working with the JEGS implementation team to ensure appropriate guidance is
available for applying JEGS to jobs that require Information Age skills.

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As a new Call Centre develops it will be important to review the resourcing strategy and the

7.3     Recruitment and training    Recruitment process

It is essential that the recruitment processes applied to selecting staff for the Call Centre take
into account the need to evaluate the applicants‟ telephone skills in a live environment. This
will be best achieved through a structured telephone interview rather than through a
traditional face-to-face interview.
In conducting a telephone interview it is far better to bring a potential applicant into the Call
Centre or an assessment centre in order to conduct the interview. In addition, telephony
interviews will be of most benefit if they are mixed with tests that require the interviewee to
use IT Systems at the same time.

The telephone interviews may be augmented by the use of face-to-face interviews, role plays
or assessment centres to test, for example, team work skills.

The recruitment process should be subject to the normal consultation processes with staff
representatives. Training
    i)        Induction Training
    It is extremely important that there is a planned programme of induction training in a Call
    Centre environment and this will need to cover
           Customer Service skills
           Call Handling skills
           Communication skills
           Familiarity with IT Systems
           Explanation of appropriate business processes and business and organisational
              context of the Call Centre
           Management training for team leaders

      Obviously the length of induction training will depend on the skills the individual already
      has and the complexity of the business processes.

      A number of colleges now run foundation courses in Call Centre agent skills, and NVQ‟s
      in Call Centre management, team leading and for Call Centre agents. A list of Call Centre
      Association approved courses is at Appendix A.

      ii)      Ongoing Training
      Call Centre agents should be given coaching and training on an ongoing basis. In a Call
      Centre environment it is particularly important to build the time required for ongoing
      training , into staffing profiles. This is equally true for team meetings.

      Call Centres should publish their targets for the number of days training a year for their

      Part of the ongoing training and coaching of a Call Centre agent will need to include
      coaches (often team leaders) listening in to calls being handled by the agent.

      It is extremely important in this environment that:
               Call Centre staff have been informed beforehand that monitoring is taking place;
               immediate, direct feedback is given by the coach after a listening in session, with
               counselling on identified strengths and weaknesses;

 Training in it's widest context, including peer to peer, mentoring, Computer based training
and background reading as well as training courses.

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               the objective is for the listening in of calls to be an aid to coaching Call Centre
               staff with an overall objective of improving quality of service by identifying
               shortcomings in procedures and or determining the individual
               training/development needs of Call Centre staff.

           In addition peer to peer coaching or mentoring, including listening in to other agents
           calls can be an important method of training and encourages consistency in call

      The ongoing training, including skilling of staff in different services being offered by the
      Call Centre, has a benefit for the Call Centre agent and the Call Centre itself in providing
      greater flexibility in meeting resource demands.

      The development of career paths, within the Call Centre and from/to other parts of the
      organisation can assist staff in seeing potential progression within the Call Centre and in
      moving to other parts of the organisation.

7.4   Retention and motivation
Call Centres in the private sector have experienced some problems in retention and
motivation of staff, evident in the large variations in staff turnover. Staff retention has not
been seen as a large problem by the Call Centres represented on the government‟s Call
Centre Working group, but public sector Call Centres need to be aware of the potential
causes of high staff turnover in order to prevent this becoming an issue.

In surveys carried out in the private sector, the intensity of the Call Centre working
environment is quoted as a major reason for high staff turnover rates. The approach to
performance management recommended in these guidelines will assist Call Centres in
preventing this from becoming an issue.

For all staff, there is a need to avoid the repetitive nature of work that can be a hallmark of
Call Centres where staff are dealing with multiple transactions of the same type. This can be
achieved through:
          Providing staff with a variety of work within the Call Centre
          multi-skilling staff in a wide range of services;
          Moving staff between back and front offices;
Other causes of high staff turnover can be
          lack of definition of the work (unclear objectives) for Call Centre staff or
          labour market conditions in a particular area.

Staff feedback from existing Call Centres in the public sector has suggested that the focus on
customers has been a positive factor in ensuring that staff feel valued and motivated in their

7.5   Staff Performance Management
These guidelines recognise the need to tackle performance management of the Call Centre
from a balanced scorecard approach. This is equally true in assessing the performance of
Call Centre staff.

The approach adopted to performance management should be balanced and reflect
 Quality objectives
    the customer facing nature of the role requires regular feedback from live calls that
       have been listened into by a team leader.
 The operational objectives of the Call Centre
 The business objectives of the Call Centre

    Income Data Services, Pay and Conditions in Call Centres 1999

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It should be recognised by Call Centre managers that other factors affect the performance of
the Call Centre including the performance of IT systems, the effectiveness of business
processes and the physical work environment. Improvements in systems, processes and the
work environment can have much bigger impacts on Call Centre performance than the pursuit
of operational objectives alone.

7.6   Health and Safety
CITU are working with the Health and Safety Executive, looking at the emerging findings from
the HSE‟s study into working conditions in Call Centres.
HSE published a Local Authority Enforcement Officers Circular in November 1999, providing
a checklist of Health and Safety issues for Call Centres covered by Local Authority
Enforcement Officers.
Although not directly applicable to government Call Centres, the circular contains a useful
checklist and is published for reference as an Annex to these guidelines.<to follow>

The longer business hours in a Call Centre mean that consideration needs to be given to the
personal safety and security of staff in choosing the location of the Centre. Attention needs to
be given to the modes of transport available to and from the site and the hours of operation of
public transport.

7.7     The Call Centre Manager and Team Leader roles
The Call Centre Manager role and Team Leader roles in Call Centres vary significantly from
traditional management roles in the public sector and require specialist training, experience
and support.

The roles are characterised by:
 Moment by moment management
    The need to respond instantly to changing conditions in the Call Centre
    The need to interpret immediately complex management information
 The need to give continuous feedback on performance to staff
 The need to cope with multiple different working patterns
 The need to manage attendance and sick absence so as to provide maximum
   performance from the Call Centre.

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8 Annexes

Annexe A: Performance targets
This table provides a template for departments reporting on all the performance targets
proposed in this document.

Measure                                            Target
Service level                                      To be set by individual Call Centres
Percentage of calls that are handled directly      To be set by individual Call Centres, but the
by the person answering the call, without the      expectation is that Call Centres will move to a
need for the caller to be called back or to call   target which is at least 50 per cent
Number of calls re-directed to other               No target
government departments, agencies, NDPB‟s
and local authorities (categorised by
department, agency etc)
Number of calls where caller is referred to        No target
another government department, agency,
NDPB‟s and local authorities (categorised by
department, agency etc)
Number of calls where the call is not able to      No target
be handled or referred (categorised)

Number of calls where caller specified a           No target
language preference that was not able to be
met (classified by language)
Number of calls in each language handled           No target

Additional management indicators

Business objectives                                To be set by individual Call Centres
Quality objectives                                 To be set by individual Call Centres
Staff objectives                                   To be set by individual Call Centres
Agent occupancy                                    To be set by individual Call Centres
Average call lengths of completed calls            To be set by individual Call Centres
Call abandonment and unavailability (busy          To be set by individual Call Centres
signal) rates, as percentages of all calls

Annexe B: Members of ECTF

ECTF Membership Roster           Auditing Members,
Principal Members
Aculab plc                       Analogic Corporation,
Amtelco                          Ariel Corporation,
Aspect Telecommunications        Artesyn Communication Products,
AT&T                             Ascom Business Systems AG,
Brooktrout Technology            AudioCodes Ltd.,
CallScan Limited                 Bell Actimedia,
CCS TrexCom                      Blue Wave Systems,
Cisco Systems                    Bosch Telecom GMBH,
Compaq Computer                  BST Communication Technology,
CSELT                            CAPI Association e.V.,
Cyberlog International           Centigram Communications
Deutsche Telekom AG              CML Technologies,

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Dialogic Corporation          Computer Telephony Solutions,
Ericsson                      Comuniq ASA,
Excel Switching Corporation   Comverse Network Systems,
Fujitsu Limited               DataKinetics Ltd.,
IBM Corporation               DeTeWe Kommunikations,
KPN NV                        Dr Materna GmbH,
Lernout & Hauspie Speech      Dragon Systems,
Lucent Technologies           ERNI Components,
Microsoft Corporation         ETeX-Sprachsynthese AG,
Natural MicroSystems Corp.    E.T.R.I.,
NEC America                   Executone,
Nokia Telecommunications      Force Computers,
NortelNetworks                Frequentis Nachrichtentechnik
Nuance Communications         Global Communications Systems
Philips Speech Processing     GTE Government Systems,
Picazo Communications         Hewlett-Packard,
Rockwell Electronic           Industrial Technology Research
Commerce                      Institute,
Siemens AG                    Inter-Tel, Inc.,
SI Logic Ltd.                 Intervoice,
SpeechWorks International     Magellan Network Systems,
Sun Microsystems              Marconi Communications,
Telesoft Design               Micrologica,
Unimax Systems                Mitsubishi Electronic Corporation,
Unisys                        Nitsuko Corporation,
Witness Systems               Oki Electric Industry Co.,
                              Philips Business Communications,
                              Pivotech Systems,
                              RadiSys Corporation,
                              Registry Magic,
                              TeleDirect International,
                              Teloquent Communications
                              Vanguard Communications
                              Voice Technologies Group,
                              West Interactive Corporation,
                              Xerox Corporation ,
                              Xiox Corporation,

Annexe C : Members of Dialogues 2000

# 1/2/1 Interactive Media Ltd       20/20 Productions Ltd
    Accent Marketing and
A                                          Ace Ltd                   ACTIUS Ltd
           Aculab plc           Advanced Telecom Services
                                                                   Alcatel Business
    AGC-Tel Consultants Ltd                Air Miles
                                                                     Systems Ltd

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                                    VERSION 1.3
                                   (2nd May 2000)

      Andersen Consulting              Anglian Water           Argos Distributions Ltd
                AT&T              Automobile Association              AxiCom
B              BAA plc               Bank of Scotland              Barclays Bank
                                                                Bradford and Bingley
                 BBC                Bouygues Telecom
                                                                  Building Society
          Brann Contact 24       Britannia Building Society     BRITE Voice Systems
           British Airways          British Gas Trading        British Midland Airways
            Broadsystem               BT Laboratories                  BUPA
                                    Cable and Wireless
C                 C3                                              Cabletel (UK) Ltd
            Cairntech Ltd           Calderstone Capital        Call Centre Association
                                  Call Centre Management
     Call Centre Consultants                                          CallCraft
    CAP Motor Research Ltd             Caravan Club                Catalyst Media
                                                                  Cellular Services
                Cedar              Celcon Blocks Limited
                                                                Development Limited
           Channelvox Ltd           CITEL Technologies                Citicorp
                                                                   Clement Clarke
      City Technologies Ltd        Clear Consulting Ltd
       Cobalt Telephone                                          Computer Support
                                 Compact Catalogues Ltd
       Technologies Ltd                                               Services
     Comverse Technology
                                        CRIMP A/S                   CSELT S.p.A.
         (Europe) Ltd
            CT Consulting                 CTS Ltd              Communication Systems
D          Data Integration           DBM Marketing                 Delius Ltd
            Dell Direct UK           DETECON GmbH                   Dialtone OY
    Dolphin Software Systems
                                 Driving Standards Agency
                                 Encyclopaedia Britannica
E         Elite Introductions                                         Energis
                                     International Ltd
               Entropic                Ericsson Ltd                 ETSA Power
     European Infopoint Ltd            Eurovoice Ltd           Express Newspapers plc
                                                               Financial Telemarketing
F     Fiat Research Centre          Fidelity Investments
                                                                    Services Ltd
           Financial Times             First Call Ltd          Ford Credit Europe plc
                                Glass's Information Services
G              Gilmark                                                  GPT
          Grafton Consulting      Great Universal Stores
                                HighTrack Communications
H             Halifax plc                                HiTeKnowledge (HTK) Ltd
    Holistique Communication              hotlines                Hydra Associates
I     IBM Laboratories Ltd               ICM                             IMC
                                INTELLIHOME Corporation           Interact Systems
                                          Plc                     International Ltd
                                         Intervoice                     ITC
J   J. Markowitz, Consultants        J. Sainsbury PLC          John Lewis Partnership

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                                     VERSION 1.3
                                    (2nd May 2000)

K   Key Voice Techonologies  Kingston Communications                     KiQ
L       Lan & Spar Bank      Lasermedia Retail Systems               Laura Ashley
      Licensing Executive
                            Link Interchange Network Ltd           Lloyds Bank Plc
      Lloyds TSB Group Plc            London Electricity
  Man Machine Technology
M                        Mannesmann Autocom GmbH                 Marks & Spencer Plc
       Martin Dawes
                                mdr training                      Media Synthesis Ltd
          Melita Europe Ltd         MFI Furniture Centres        Microvidec Multimedia
          Midland Bank Plc               Milk Marque             Miller Freeman UK Ltd
           ML Interactive
                                                                  Nationwide Building
N     NAG (UK) Services Ltd      National Westminster Bank
              Next plc           Nokia Telecommunications        Nortel Europe Limited
           Norwich Union          Nuance Communications
O           Oak Telecom                   Old Mutual                  Olivetti UK
P             PC-Plus                    Pearson plc                 Periphonics
    Philips Speech Processing         Portfolio Solutions           The Post Office
           Powergen plc              Publicis Technology
Q             QPQ Ltd                Quantum Systems
R             Reuters                    Revolution                  Rover Group
                                  Royal National Institute for
    Royal Bank of Scotland Plc
                                          the Blind
S       Safeway Stores            Scanner Systems Limited               Shonut
    Siemens Communications
                                          Sokete Ltd                  Specialized
           SpeechWorks                S.R.I. International               SSL
            Standard Life               Staples Direct            Starwood Corp Ltd
     Synphonix Recruitment       Syntegra (BT Global Comms)      Syntellect Europe Ltd
T           T-NETIX Inc                     TALK 2           Taylor Nelson Sofres Plc
                                                               Technology Warranty
              Technico           Technology Project Services
            Telco Global                                      Telephone Information
                                 Telecom Potential Group Plc
          Communications                                              Services
          The Telebusiness       TELEPHONETICS Interactive
                                                             Telesoft Communications
            Partnership               Voice Systems Ltd
          Telia Telecom AB                Telsis Ltd

Page 28
                                      VERSION 1.3
                                     (2nd May 2000)
Annex C : Scope of HSE Report
Although regulations and guidance exist which cover office environments, Local Authority
Enforcement Officers, the TUC and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Officers
have all proposed that telephone call handling centres present a unique working environment.
An initial scoping study, commissioned by HSE and carried out by HSL, confirmed that
greater knowledge of the health risks in the context of call centre work was needed. The study
also indicated that some current work practices may have a detrimental effect on the
psychological and physical well-being of call centre employees. The aim of this project is to
examine current working practices across a broad range of call centres, in terms of their
location, sector type, size and maturity. The main physical and psychological health risks
associated with call centre working will be investigated as will the potential measures
available to reduce these. This work will enable HSE to develop sound guidance, for the
industry and enforcement officers, based on risk reduction and best practice

Page 29

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