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ICL first to adopt new standard

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    John Seddon
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    ICL Helpdesks awarded the Vanguard Standard

    ICL Helpdesks have been awarded the Vanguard Standard for Customer Contact Centres. It is an acknowledgement that ICL has moved away from the traditional ‘sweat shop’ design instead using systems principals for the design and management of their work.

    Steve Parry, ICL’s pioneering leader said “it is an important acknowledgement of the way we have set up our operations. The people who serve our customers are at the heart of designing the way we solve their problems. As a consequence we are lowering our costs at the same time as improving our service. Moreover, the impact on staff morale has been incredible.”

    Steve maintains the normal methods for the design and management of customer contact centres are flawed. “To focus on call volumes, resources and activity – which is the stuff of most contact centre management – is to miss the point. The opportunities for improvement lie in understanding the nature of demands from the customer’s point of view. That is why it is essential that the people control the design of the work. The traditional measures simply focus everybody on the wrong things.”

    Others will follow because, at the end of the day, money talks – these methods create an extraordinarily better bottom line. But it will take time for others to catch on as the principles and practices of the systems thinking represent a challenge to current norms.

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