Customer experience – Internal V outsourcing teams? Achieving excellence

Customer experience – Internal V outsourcing teams? Achieving excellence
Contact Centre

It’s often a question large, innovative companies ask. Who will serve my customers better, an internal operation or an outsourced operation?

Well the Co-op Customer Service Centre has decided that both options work well blended, and to ensure the customer and colleague experience remains exceptional, all employees receive the same training and emersion on how to support customers whilst looking after their own personal resilience.

In May 2019, corporate health and wellbeing provider Let’s Get Healthy extended its ‘Heart’ campaign to help employees based at the outsourced customer service centres Lemon Business Solutions and Teleperformance, both extensions to the award winning Manchester based internal Customer Service Centre of the Co-op. Colleagues in all three operations will go through the campaign called Heart which aims to improve personal resilience to emotive situations such as supporting bereaved customers.

Heart was originally created for the Co-op’s internal team, who recognised the importance of providing a consistent customer experience, by facilitating the campaign to empower colleagues by equipping them with the tools and techniques to be brave-hearted and resilient in what can be very stressful times, supporting adults through the stages of bereavement.

Claire Carroll, Head of Member and Customer Services at Co-op, added: “Let’s Get Healthy created Heart to help my team be brave-hearted when dealing with customers who may be broken-hearted. It was always our plan to roll the campaign out across our partners who also speak to our customers. The customer and colleague experience should be the same no matter which location you work in. It is important, from a customer experience perspective, that all our internal and external call handlers deliver the same level of service to our customers at what can be an incredibly difficult time. Providing tools and techniques to be resilient is essential in the type of work handled in service centres.”

Following a successful pilot of the campaign in November 2018 and delivery internally at Co-op in April, the programme has been delivered to external providers Lemon in May and will be rolled out to additional external partner Teleperformance in June.

Colleagues said of the training: “Great workshop, really engaging, content very well targeted and a lot of work clearly put into making it specifically relevant to us. Trainer was brilliant and really gained trust and buy-in from whole group. Thanks.”

The campaign included internal launch communications, a one-day face to face course followed by activity to embed the learnings.

Maria Bourke, Managing Director of Let’s Get Healthy, said: “Co-op identified the need to embed health and wellbeing as part of its wider business strategy across all its partners. It’s always great to support thought leading organisations and I am thrilled that the campaign can be rolled out to Co-op’s external partners as well.”

Let’s Get Healthy was recently named Gold Winner at the 2018 Employee Experience Awards in the category of Health & Wellbeing. The Leeds-based company boasts diverse sector experience, and currently operates as corporate wellbeing providers to the likes of William Hill, G’s Fresh, Travis Perkins and Northern.

Co-op has over 4,000 stores in the UK, a large service centre and Co-op Funeralcare is the UK’s number one funeral services provider.

Please visit for more information on any of Let’s Get Healthy’s tailored workshops covering topics such as mental health, resilience, bereavement and energy.