British Gas awarded silver at world contact centre awards

The British Gas team based in Cardiff has been awarded a silver medal for best contact centre in the world at this year's World Contact Centre Awards.

The British Gas team based in Cardiff has been awarded a silver medal for best contact centre in the world at this year's World Contact Centre Awards. The 1200 strong contact centre has now won 24 awards for customer service in the past three years. This result means that British Gas Cardiff is the top contact centre in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In 2010 it was named the best contact centre in Europe at the European Call Centre Awards for the second year running, the first time that this award has been won twice by any company.

Ian Peters, Managing Director, British Gas Energy said, "We are delighted to be awarded silver for at the World Contact Centre awards. This is a tremendous achievement for everyone who works in Cardiff and in British Gas. With the winter coming up, we have seen an increase in the numbers of enquiries from our customers and the team in Cardiff and across all our sites are working hard to provide tailored advice on managing energy bills, including energy efficiency and payment options."

Every week the contact centre in Cardiff receives over 70,000 calls from British Gas customers across the country. As part of British Gas' growth strategy the team in Cardiff took a radical approach to customer service - to be totally focussed on the needs of the customer. A number of innovative changes were made including the removal of time targets on phone calls. By using new technology the team in Cardiff can quickly act on customer feedback, capturing customer comments, offering a call back service and speech trends using speech analytics technology.

Lynda Campbell, General Manager, British Gas Cardiff, said: "Three years ago we took a radical approach and we worked with our people to ensure Cardiff is a great place to work. We created an environment that was totally focussed on our people and our customers and as a result we have grown our business consistently in the past three years."

Treating customers as individuals has been at the heart of the transformation of Cardiff. Working with experts, British Gas created a bespoke emotional intelligence programme ‘Look Who's Calling' so that customer service advisors can quickly relate to the needs of the customer. Based on the principles of Myers Briggs, the team in Cardiff identified four key customer types ‘Feeler', ‘Thinker', ‘Controller' and ‘Entertainer' so that colleagues can adapt their conversations to meet the needs of each customer personality type.

Ashley Thomas customer service advisor at British Gas in Cardiff said, "I have worked at British Gas for five years and the change has been amazing - it is a great place to work. The training on offer is excellent, it has given me a clear career path and most importantly it is designed to meet the needs of the customer. The Look Who's Calling programme was a real eye opener, I now feel better prepared when dealing with customers and can sort out their problems with greater ease. The programme has really helped me both inside and outside work."