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Would You Like Chips With That? Call Centres as Restaurants. Owen D Leeds Liverpool Hope University College, Department Business and Management, Liverpool, United Kingdom, L16 9JD leedso@hope.ac.uk Beverly S Leeds University of Central Lancashire, Lancashire Business School

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would you like chips with that call centres as restaurants
Would You Like Chips With That? Call Centres as Restaurants

Owen D Leeds

Liverpool Hope University College, Department Business and Management,

Liverpool, United Kingdom, L16 9JD

leedso@hope.ac.uk

Beverly S Leeds

University of Central Lancashire, Lancashire Business School

Preston, United Kingdom, PR1 2H

bleeds@uclan.ac.uk

would you like chips with that call centres as restaurants1
Would You Like Chips With That? Call Centres as Restaurants

Previous Research

Braverman’s new world (2001) examined two stereotypical views of call centres from the dystopian

‘Dark Satanic Mills’

‘New Sweatshops’

‘Battery Farms’

Arkin, 1997; Roncoroni, 1997; Bain and Taylor, 2000

would you like chips with that call centres as restaurants2
Would You Like Chips With That? Call Centres as Restaurants

To the utopian

“vibrant exciting knowledge based economy ”

(Richardson, 1998)

would you like chips with that call centres as restaurants3
Would You Like Chips With That? Call Centres as Restaurants
  • Contradictory images

but also……..

  • Tension between drive to achieve cost efficiencies, and desire to achieve improved level of customer service.
would you like chips with that call centres as restaurants5
Would You Like Chips With That? Call Centres as Restaurants

“Truth is that every contact centre is different”

Alison Owen

associate for the UK

Call Centre Association

would you like chips with that call centres as restaurants6
Would You Like Chips With That? Call Centres as Restaurants
  • Role of call centres is changing from cost saving operations to strategic value-adding processes.
  • Call centres are changing to contact centres
  • Research based on 9 contact centres that highlight some differences along a continuum
would you like chips with that call centres as restaurants7
Would You Like Chips With That? Call Centres as Restaurants
  • Cottageco:
    • Holiday Cottage company, less than 50 agent seats
  • Bankco:
    • Major UK retail bank, more than 200 agent seats
  • Creditco:
    • Large credit card company, more than 100 agent seats
would you like chips with that call centres as restaurants8
Would You Like Chips With That? Call Centres as Restaurants
  • Debtco:
    • Outsourced debt collection agency, less than 100 agent seats
  • Mailco:
    • Mail order catalogue company, 2000 agent seats
  • Mail2co:
    • Mail order catalogue company, more than 200 agent seats
would you like chips with that call centres as restaurants9
Would You Like Chips With That? Call Centres as Restaurants
  • Finnco:
    • Outsourced financial services call centre, 150 agent seats
  • Tellco:
    • UK telecommunications company, more than 1000 agent seats
  • Furnico:
    • Direct sell furniture manufacturer, less than 50 agent seats
would you like chips with that call centres as restaurants10
Would You Like Chips With That? Call Centres as Restaurants
  • Cottageco
  • Bankco
  • Creditco
  • Debtco
  • Mailco
  • Mail2co
  • Finnco
  • Tellco
  • Furnico
would you like chips with that call centres as restaurants11
Would You Like Chips With That? Call Centres as Restaurants

Conclusions

  • define the nature of the contact centre and its role in the organisation
  • practitioners use the restaurant analogy to decide which restaurant their centre is, and operate accordingly
  • what contact centres need to achieve is congruence between restaurant/contact centre function and management style.