Cutting back on call centres

 Knowledge Transfer

Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Chair Patrick Dunleavy, LSE Public Policy Group
Mark Andrews, Head of Contact Centre Services for the Cambridgeshire Direct Contact Centre, Cambridgeshire County Council
Peter Coates
, Chair of the Local Authority Contact Council, Sunderland County Council

  • Click here to download presentation.
    Chris Hopson, Director of Customer Contact, HMRC
  • Click here to download presentation.
    Bernard Quinn, Public Service Reform Group- Digital Delivery, Cabinet Office


The focus on reducing costs across the public services represents an important opportunity to engineer out non-value-adding communication- which was previously allowed to mushroom. Innovation is needed to replace call centres with online communication where possible and to address 'hidden call centres', where myriad employees handle diverse calls that are no longer needed.

Speaker details

  • Mark Andrews is Head of Contact Centre Services for the Cambridgeshire Direct Contact Centre, Cambridgeshire County Council, which handles 50,000 contacts per month. Mark's role includes transforming services ensuring they are customer-centred, effective and efficient.
  • Peter Coates is Chair of the Local Authority Contact Council for Sunderland City Council. The remit of the Contact Council is to share best practice, form a link between local and central government in matters relating to customer contact and to have oversight of local government customer contact activity. Peter also developed, implemented, and managed the highly regarded Northumbria 101 Single non emergency number service across the whole of Northumberland, Tyne & Wear.
  • Chris Hopson is HMRC's Director of Customer Contact. Chris runs one of central Government's largest contact centre networks (100m calls a year). He also manages the customer experience on some of its most successful online services (e.g.75% take up for self assessment online). He'll reflect on what HMRC, whose customers include nearly every adult and business in the UK, have learnt about managing phone and online contact.
  • Bernard Quinn is part of the recently formed Cabinet Office Efficiency and Reform Group. He has been a member of the Cabinet Office Contact Council since 2006, chaired their numbering subcommittee and was part of the team that developed the multichannel performance management framework. He has also worked with departments on opportunities for digital platforms Directgov, Businesslink and NHS Choices to support departmental channel strategies and options for accelerating transactional services online.