I came across a Daily Mail front page headline this week; It concerns a mooted plan to replace Doctors receptionists with centralised call-centre staff.
Without reading the article it was clear what line the article would take; The article duly trots out every call-centre cliche from what it calls ‘unconcerned’ call centre staff to raising the spectre of the overseas call-centre. It claims that call-centres will eradicate the personal service provided by receptionists based in surgeries and that many more mistakes will occur.
In all it neatly sums up our relationship with call-centres. We hate them, loathe them, detest them. There’s a strange irony here that my job title, like most call-centre employees is ‘Customer Services Assistant’ and that the whole rhetoric of the call-centre industry is about providing a customer centred service, yet what all our systems achieve is seen by most people to be the very opposite.