6 Things you can Learn From BBC’s “The Call Centre”


The BBC are filming the second series of “The Call Centre”… But we couldn’t wait for that.

So, we sent Megan Jones down to Swansea to get the lowdown on how Nev gets the best out of his call centre employees.

megan and nev

Get a ‘fun budget’

Putting some effort into making your call centre a fun place to work can have a massive impact on your sales figures. So much so that you should factor incentives into your annual budgeting reports. As Nev said, “We have a ‘fun budget’ which gets spent on weekly incentives such as giving out five-pound notes and bottles of beer. In the past, we have even splashed out on a wide-screen TV and a car!”

And you don’t have to spend a lot to make a difference, as Nev said, “Things such as ‘custard-pie day’ are relatively inexpensive yet they still have the desired effect of making people feel happy at work.”

Embrace the psychology of selling


It is a well-known fact that the use of premium or ‘gold’ data (compiled from customers already interested in the company’s services) can boost morale and sales figures.

Yet Nev has found that placebo ‘gold’ data can have the same effect, as employees given this data also benefit from an increase in confidence and an improved ability to sell.

It is a win-win situation – your employees get the buzz they need to meet their targets and it doesn’t cost you a penny.

Raising money for charity makes everyone feel good

Promoting a good company ethos starts with your employees believing that they have a good job.

Raising money for charity is a great way to achieve this, as Nev said, “Getting my employees involved in their local community helps to make them feel proud of where they work. This is turn makes them happier in the call centre and has a positive impact on sales figures.”

Yet the inevitable silliness associated with charity events doesn’t always have the desired effect, as Nev explained, “You can never be quite sure what will happen. Sometimes it puts everyone in such a good mood that targets are exceeded, whilst other times everyone fusses so much with their outfits that figures go down. But one thing is always the same; everyone has fun, and this helps to maintain the idea that “The Call Centre” is a good place to work.”

Know your employees

It is worth investing time in getting to know your employees and their individual strengths, as this will allow you to place them in the right sales team. This proactive approach will also help you to tackle any motivational issues which may arise, as you will have a good understanding of what makes them tick.

“You’ve got to remember that your employees are as important as your customers,” said Nev. “When you spend time getting to know your staff, you can take an active role in nurturing them into good employees and this in turn ensures that you are giving the best service to your customer.”

Don’t over-do it

You’ve got to be careful with hosting in-office competitions because if you put them on every day they will lose their novelty and become ineffective.

“The trick is to space them out and provide variation,” said Nev. “One way you can do this is by having one-day-only events, such as handing out five-pound notes, running alongside long-term competitions to win bigger prizes like TVs.”

Recruit a tea lady

In Series One of “The Call Centre”, Nev made the controversial decision to keep unreliable Hayley on as a tea lady. Yet this isn’t as mad as it seems.

“When people see Hayley they smile,” explained Nev. “Her regular appearances lift the mood of the sales floor, and they also save the company time and money as she reduces the need for employees to take tea breaks.”

If your call centre isn’t big enough to take one person off the phones permanently, consider developing a rota for making the tea and coffee. This approach should enable your sales floor to experience the “Hayley effect”, whilst preventing you from taking your employees off the phones for extended periods of time.

Do you have a tea lady in your call centre? Leave your comments in an email to Call Centre Helper

Author: Megan Jones

Published On: 21st Aug 2013 - Last modified: 28th Oct 2020
Read more about - Call Centre Life, , , ,

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1 Comment
  • Nev, you have come under loads of stick…which I believe you don’t deserve. Your intent is good and you are trying to create a fun place to work, you are authentic which makes a difference! no get out of my office

    sean 9 Sep at 17:32