Spotlight on Call Centres


filtered light shining down

This month we bring you a new feature called ‘Spotlight on Call Centres’ which focuses on the different activities that call and contact centres around the country are getting involved in.

The companies featured this month are QVC, Stellar, 2Touch, Fusion and Spark Response.

Please feel free to send us in similar stories about your call or contact centre.

Fusion kicks off business training programme for employees

A NVQ class taking place

A NVQ class taking place

Fusion, the Sunderland-based contact centre business, has launched its 2011 Learning and Development programme, offering employees the opportunity to complete a variety of in-house, nationally recognised qualifications to help further their careers. Twenty-one staff – at both managerial and customer advisory level – from the St Catherine’s Court site will complete either an NVQ or Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) course this year.

The launch follows on from the success of previous in-house programmes, which have seen more than 150 Fusion employees complete a vocational qualification. Five of last year’s ILM graduates have since been promoted to Trainee Team Leader positions. As part of the courses, delegates learn about areas such as Communication in Management, Becoming an Effective Leader, and Leading Innovation and Change.

Sarah Burns, Site Manager, commented: “Our Sunderland site continues to be extremely successful, delivering a fantastic level of customer service. We have quickly become a respected local employer and one of the reasons we are able to drive growth is because of the calibre of our people.”

Mark Moore, Team Leader at Fusion Sunderland and recent graduate of the ILM Level 5 programme, said: “I have been with Fusion for seven years and one of the appealing things about the organisation is the emphasis that the business places on career development. The course was extremely challenging. However, we received a high level of support and guidance from our managers and the company as a whole. I am already using the skills I learnt in my day-to-day role and to be promoted on completion of my qualification was the icing on the cake.”


Stellar supports Young Enterprise Ayrshire by sponsoring the “Link Teacher Of The Year 2011” Award

Stellar have announced today that they will be sponsoring an award in 2011’s Young Enterprise Ayrshire Awards which are a culmination of a year of hard work and innovative thinking by Ayrshire’s young people and a chance for students, link teachers, business advisers, board members and representatives from the business and education sectors to come together in celebration.

Gareth Dunlop

Gareth Dunlop

Gareth Dunlop, Stellar’s Training and Development Manager, will not only be taking part in the judging of nominations along with a panel of colleagues from Stellar but also presenting the award on the evening.

Gareth said;: “We are very proud at Stellar to be involved with these awards, and in particular with the Link Teacher Of The Year, especially as the nominations for this award have to come from the students themselves.  The nomination form has five specific questions including “What makes this teacher stand out?” and asks for “a short paragraph on why the teacher deserves to be recognised as link teacher of the year”

He continues: “It also asks to describe the nominee in three words so we at Stellar are looking forward to reviewing the nominations, deciding on the winner and congratulating them during the awards presentation itself.”

In other news, Stellar has announced plans to expand its contact centre facility in the Philippines as demand for voice-based and back-of-house processing services continues to grow worldwide.  The Philippines supports Stellar customers from Australia, the UK, the USA and Canada with over 1,500 employees.


QVC does its bit for local and national charities

QVC staff raising money for Breast Cancer Care

QVC staff raising money for Breast Cancer Care

QVC raised over £700,000 for charity last year, including over £400,000 for Breast Cancer Care.

The company runs an annual on-air charity event for the breast cancer charity, which involves every area of the business, from the distribution and call centre in Knowsley, to the presenters and broadcasters in Battersea, London.

The Breast Cancer Care total includes donations to the Donation Line, a corporate donation from QVC and additional fundraising by staff, which included cake sales and a “dress in pink” day. QVC has now supported the charity for 11 years and has raised over £3m during that time.

Further donations totalling £120,000 were made to a range of charities including the Roy Castle Foundation, British Red Cross and Help for Heroes.

Claudine Shacklock, Corporate Communications Manager, QVC, said: “At QVC, we understand the importance of having a positive influence on society by supporting local community projects, as well as national causes. The ‘Be Aware Show You Care’ Breast Cancer Care event is the highlight of our charity calendar and we have once again raised more than ever before. Our focus now is in making it bigger and better in 2011 and continuing to provide valuable help to local charities.”


2Touch and Acxiom combine to offer an integrated approach to customer needs

Acxiom and 2Touch have already combined to successfully deliver insight-driven, multi-channel consumer engagement for customers in the financial services arena.

Stuart Gray

Stuart Gray

Stuart Gray, managing director, 2Touch, said: “So far we have combined to drive forward discrete programmes of activity for a small number of customers, and it is now our aim to take this to a wider audience. We are delighted to combine our services with Acxiom. There are lots of specialists in the market offering similar types of service on an individual basis, but none can offer all of the component parts under one roof and provide a seamless, end-to-end service.”

Stephen Whyte, CEO Europe, Acxiom, said: “In particular, consumer brands will greatly benefit from our joint expertise. They may be looking to reach a wider target audience whilst managing and engaging with existing customer expectations.”


Spark Response announces 2011 Charity Partnerships

Gateshead-based Spark Response has announced the two charities it will be supporting throughout 2011.

The contact centre and fulfilment specialist will raise funds for both Barnardos in the North East and Cancer Connections through staff sales, raffles and a family fun day, among other initiatives.  Spark raised £5,500 last year for its nominated charity and is hopeful to beat this record, having already raised over £1,800 through a staff sale earlier this month and a Valentine’s Day raffle.

Lauren Kane

Lauren Kane

Each year, charities that are close to the hearts of staff members are put forward by Spark’s Employee Forum – a group of staff representatives from all areas of the business.  Barnardos was nominated in memory of Colin Bongartz, former Head of Contact Centres at Spark, who sadly passed away last year.

South Shields-based Cancer Connections was nominated by Account Support Manager, Lauren Kane, also from South Shields, who has had recent personal experience of the charity following a close family member’s battle with the illness. Lauren says: “I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the team at Cancer Connections. I wanted the organisation to be one of our official charities for 2011 so I could say thank you to the team for the great work they do. The support they offer is brilliant and a huge help to cancer sufferers and their families. I hope that raising awareness for the cause will allow others to benefit in the same way that my family and I have.”

The total Spark has raised for charity since it began recording amounts in 2005 is more than £27,000.

Published On: 30th Mar 2011 - Last modified: 22nd Mar 2017
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