Lesley Stewart and Stephen Pryde of JourneyCall.
Lesley Stewart is the Business Development Director of JourneyCall and was accompanied by Stephen Pryde, Client Delivery Manager. Lesley began her presentation by providing a brief overview of JourneyCall. Handling over 6,000 calls, e-mails and letters a day, the company has two call centres, one in Laurencekirk and the other in Brechin and clients include Transport for London, Stagecoach Group, London Midland, Chiltern Railways, ATOC and Go-Ahead Group amongst many others including London Councils for whom it provides support services.
The company is the largest employer in the area and has a highly skilled workforce of customer service advisors who provide detailed information to customers by phone, e-mail and post. JourneyCall was founded in 2003 to fill a gap in the market for the provision of information and provides a "one stop shop" for clients. The high quality Laurencekirk call centre was opened in 2005.
It was interesting to note that the adult Oyster Cards used in London are issued from Laurencekirk as the company won the contract to provide support for Oyster customers. All adult Oyster cards are issued and sent out from Laurencekirk and all cards are ordered either online via the website or by mail order.
In 2007 the company opened their call centre at Brechin and this also provides a facility for disaster recovery and both call centres are fully interoperable. In 2008 a strategic partnership was agreed with ESP Systex. JourneyCall had been looking for a partner to provide system support and in 2009 ESP purchased a major shareholding in JourneyCall. In 2011 JourneyCall has 20 clients, 130 staff and is now planning further expansion. JourneyCall provides the contact centre of choice for transport operators.
Lesley then outlined the implications of bidding for and winning major contracts, pointing out that this can be a lengthy process with the full OJEU tendering process. Bidding for contracts includes the formal bid, presentations and site visits before the contract award. Once a contract has been secured there is a lot of preparation including staff training and the transfer of staff in some cases. JourneyCall has a close working relationship with its clients and meets all requirements and KPIs as customer satisfaction is of prime importance.
When a contract comes to its end the cycle is repeated, although there is always the spectre of the possible loss of business and the loss of staff under TUPE regulations. This can lead to uncertainty for staff. Lesley then looked at how call centres are perceived and pointed out that JourneyCall is different as it works with it's clients and aims to fully understand their business, so that it can deliver front line services that fully represent their clients.
The company provides and end to end solution in contact handling and fulfilment and aims not only to meet SLAs but to exceed them which leads to satisfied customers. In 2010 JourneyCall was the winner of the "Best Small Contract Centre in Europe" award at the European Call Centre Awards and was the "Talking Tayside" contact centre Company Culture of the Year Winner for two years running. The company has also won a number of other awards.
Staff are the company's greatest asset and JourneyCall prides itself on having "intelligent" staff and not staff who are "script driven" Staff are proud to work for JourneyCall. The company has won a number of awards for its customer service, such as the "Talking Tayside" award which it has won for two years running.
Training is important and JourneyCall has its own highly experienced training team and has an extensive learning and development programme. Training covers such topics as products, systems and customer service. Each member of staff has an individual development plan. The company aims to promote staff from within the company whenever possible.
JourneyCall provides a client centric services and has a "can do" attitude and has a proven ability to meet client's demands. The company has demonstrated it's commitment to clients and has a sound financial base. Looking to the future, Leslie outlines some of the possible future developments, such as event ticketing and remote video support for kiosks.
Following the presentation, there was a question and answer session during which many questions put put to Lesley who answered them comprehensively. The Scottish Region Chairman then proposed the vote of thanks and presented Lesley with a pair of the Scottish Region's engraved whisky glasses as a memento of the evening.
The Scottish Region would like to thank Leslie Stewart for taking the time to address the meeting and Edinburgh City Council for hosting the event
Report by John Fender.
Photograph by John Fender.
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