Rural Economy Minister visits BT’s Thurso contact centre
MSP Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, visited BT’s Thurso contact centre yesterday (Mon) to see at first hand the benefits it has brought to the Caithness economy.
Three months ago BT reinforced its commitment to its most northerly UK contact centre by announcing that the vast majority of its agency staff in Thurso were being given BT contracts.
The 120 advisers, all with more than two years’ service, look after customers throughout the UK, and were on agency contracts with Manpower.
Kaye MacDonald, BT customer service director, said: “We were delighted to welcome Mr Ewing to our newly refurbished contact centre. BT Business and Public Sector has a team of specialists working here who offer a very high level of customer experience for global, major, public sector and business customers if an incident impacts their service.
“It was great to have the opportunity to show the Cabinet Secretary all the hard work that goes on and the recent investments we have made in Thurso including improved site facilities and systems, and permanent BT posts for some of our longest-serving agency staff.”
Cabinet Secretary, Fergus Ewing, said: “With connectivity increasingly becoming a necessity to modern life, it was great to meet BT contact centre staff in Thurso who are directly supporting businesses and public sector customers based both here in Scotland, and beyond our borders. We are committed to extending superfast broadband across Scotland and continuing to work with BT and Openreach through our Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband Programme, in delivering this outcome.”
The purpose-built contact centre in Thurso Business Park was BT’s first Highland contact centre, opening in the Caithness town 24 years ago with just 27 staff. Launched by former BT chairman Sir Iain Vallance, it was named Alexander Bain House after the Caithness inventor hailed as the father of the fax machine.
Thurso is a 24/7 operation and is one of only four BT centres handling disaster recovery across the UK.
Their client range is vast and their next call for help could be from a small retailer with a couple of shops, a major High Street retail chain, a school or police force.
Customer experience is BT’s top priority. In the last year the company has recruited 3,600 new people into customer-facing roles at its UK contact centres, and continues to recognise the importance of improving experience by converting skilled agency workers to permanent employees.