John Lewis to consolidate customer call centres

LONDON - John Lewis is opening two contact centres next year in a push to improve customer service.

The call centres, which will create 500 jobs, will replace existing branch call centres. The majority of roles in existing branch call centres will become redundant in 2010 and 2011.

The contact centres will be staffed by John Lewis Partners. The first, in  Glasgow, is expected to open next June, with the second to follow later in the year in either Newcastle or Manchester.

The news follows the retailer's announcement in February that it needed to centralise some of its branch operations to maintain and build on its position as having good customer service.

Andrew Murphy, director of operational development at John Lewis, said: ‘Having 25 separate call centres is not ideal in terms of efficiency and is also not the best way to ensure that customers always receive excellent service. The customer proposition will remain essentially unchanged, but the experience will be enhanced by improved information systems, telephone support over extended opening hours and the ability to bring different strands of best practice together.'

 

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