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48% of employees have left a job because the reality didn’t match how it was communicated to them in the recruitment process. That’s the fascinating and disappointing statistic I learned from Thrive Map at Call & Contact Centre Expo, this week.

Contact centre roles are – unavoidably – those in which the to day-to-day demands and realities are most difficult to change. So, in parallel with looking to improve the employee experience, being honest about the realities of the job you’re recruiting for is vital.

March’s Regulation & Compliance Update from the DMA’s Contact Centre Council

Each month Channel Doctors’ Steve Sullivan prepares a summary of all the news contact centre and customer experience professionals need on regulation and compliance for the Direct Marketing Association (www.dma.org.uk)’s Contact Centre Council.

March’s headlines include:

  • Two ‘dawn raids’ of contact centres by the ICO
  • Fundraising Regulator doubles down on ‘naming & shaming’ of charities
  • The first ICO ‘GDPR’ fines may be a while away
  • Vote Leave fined £40k for sending illegal texts
  • PPI ‘robo-call’ company director banned
  • All about the Direct Marketing Commission

Download here: DMA CC Council – Compliance Regulation Hub Update March 2019_compressed


Lots of commentators are speculating as to when the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office will issue its first ‘post-GDPR’ monetary penalties, but pity the ICO’s Irish equivalent the Data Protection Commission (DPC).
Under the GDPR ‘one stop shop’ rules the Irish DPC is the lead regulator responsible for handling data privacy concerns and complaints raised by citizens in other EU countries about multinationals whose European base is in Ireland. The list of high-profile US technology firms based in Ireland with massive user reach and data influence includes Facebook & WhatsApp, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, Dropbox, Airbnb, LinkedIn, Oath and Match Group (owner of Tinder and other dating sites). The DPC received 136 complaints about organisations like them in the period from ‘GDPR Day’ in May 2018 until the end of the year.
It now has the unenviable task of investigating these complaints and adjudicating on the behaviour of some massive corporations, making decisions which will have significant impacts on the big platforms, their customers and digital marketing – all in the knowledge that the Irish state isn’t even collecting much tax revenues for its labours…

85% vs 34%

Back in the real world… I came across some Kura Inisoft research the other day which serves of a reminder that despite all the great work many people have done to improve contact centre employee engagement, there can still be a massive gap between the perceptions of managers and their front-line teams:
85% of contact centre ‘leaders’ believed agent morale to be good or very good, while 34% of agents deemed it poor and 52% stated it was simply okay


A financial services firm recently experienced a 39% response rate to a direct mail campaign. An incredible result from a channel which typically generates less than 5% from its calls to action.

That was a great result for the finance firm, but also a useful reminder that – irrespective of the communication channel – proactive contacts with customers can be (mutually) valuable and effective, if the targeting and proposition are right.

Easier said than done, but worth aiming for!


An interesting stat from Orange this week via this Universal Queue infographic from Netcall:
73% of adults aged 18-24 say that “valuing my time” is the most important thing in providing good customer service.
A timely reminder that #customer experience 101 factors like being prompt and knowledgeable when engaging with customers are universally valued, irrespective of the demographic.

What’s happening to the UK’s ‘Middle Tier’ Outsourced Contact Centres?

The ‘middle-tier’ of the UK outsourced contact centre space is potentially precarious, squeezed between smaller niche providers and the global BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) firms. For many clients the ‘middle-tier’ offers a more flexible, focused delivery model than larger rivals, with the added reassurance of direct relationships with their suppliers’ leadership teams.

However, outsourcing can be hard business, typified by low margins and demanding clients. Today these challenges are compounded by increased customer and technology demands, which outsourcers need to be able to anticipate and meet in order to succeed.

The last 12 months has seen significant changes in the mid-market space – consolidation, business failure and new investments – which we reviewed in the infographic, below.

Download here: Middle-Tier Contact Centre Consolidation – Feb 2019

If you’re a current or potential client of a middle-tier provider and want to work through the implications of these changes – or you’re in the middle-tier and trying to decide where to head next – drop us a line hello@channeldoctors.co.uk

February’s Regulation Hub Update from the DMA’s Contact Centre Council

Each month Channel Doctors’ Steve Sullivan prepares a summary of all the news contact centre and customer experience professionals need on regulation and compliance for the Direct Marketing Association (www.dma.org.uk)’s Contact Centre Council.

February’s headlines include:

  • Renewable energy firm sanctioned – but not fined – by the ICO for making 800,000 un-consented calls to consumers on the TPS
  • Accident claims contact centre fined £80,000 for calling TPS numbers
  • Two rogue marketing firms’ directors banned for 6 & 4 years by the Insolvency Service

Download here:  DMA CC Council – Compliance Regulation Hub Update February 2019



3,739,229 or 20% – that’s the net reduction in total phone numbers registered with the UK Telephone Preference Service between January and December 2018.

This wasn’t due to a sudden surge in enthusiasm for receiving sales and marketing calls, but rather because TPS – and its masters at the Information Commissioner’s Office – finally started cleansing the data, stripping out redundant and reassigned numbers.

So, life has become a little easier for marketeers and contact centres which need to screen their phone prospect data against the TPS – while the TPS’ long term future remains unclear (especially as the proposed ePrivacy Regulation seems as far away as ever…)


A major UK news media brand found that its rates of Subscriber first term uplift (i.e. Retention) rose between 6-8% on average for those receiving Welcome Calls, when compared to those who did not.

Not just a compelling example of how proactive contact can make a commercially significant difference to organisations and their customer engagement – but also that ‘digital’ customers aren’t necessarily tied to just one communication channel.

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