The rise of the contact centre
In 2010, the second Partnership contact centre was opened in Didsbury, a borough of Manchester. Over the next two years, the Partnership’s contact centres, which had resided in each individual branch up until this point, were gradually migrated over to the Manchester site, and the Partnership’s other contact site, at Hamilton in Scotland.
Growth of telesales
By 2012, the last branch of the John Lewis division, John Lewis Sheffield, migrated over to Didsbury. The two contact centres had been created in view of the explosion of the importance and size of the ‘talk trade’, and as such, could relieve the John Lewis division of this responsibility. The contact centres were created with the specific aim of reflecting and representing the John Lewis brand, as well as the spirit of the Partnership.
Change in customer habits
The move from branch call centres to the contact centres, allowed the provision of vastly improved customer service. In fantastic new facilities, it also allowed Partners to pertain a sense of pride in their work and their workplace, something that of course influences the manner of the Partners when working working. The move to the contact centres was also an acknowledgement of the changing habits of customers, and the sharp rise of both telephone and internet shopping. As of 2012, at Didsbury, Partners respond to a about 5,000 emails a day together. Combined with Hamilton, the contact centre team answer 14,000 calls a day, and together contribute about £100 million to sales!