News : EE to Bring 1,000 Call Centre Jobs Onshore
Feb 19, 2014 -- EE, Britain’s mobile operator, will bring 1,000 call centre jobs back onshore as part of an effort to its ability to solve complicated smartphone and tablet problems.
The initiative will begin in spring with the creation of 250 jobs in Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile call centres in South Africa and the Philippines will be scaled back. Olaf Swantee, EE’s chief executive, said that simple transactions will still be handled by cheaper overseas customer services staff, however.
Mr Swantee said: "Within 18 months, I want to be able to say that EE has done for customer service in the UK what it has done for networks.
"[UK call centres’] performance has been shown to exceed that of overseas contact centres."
He said the company was receiving more complicated queries about smartphone and tablet software that require more guidance to resolve. By increasing its British resources, EE believes it can increase loyalty and could introduced subscription plans with tiered levels of service.
It is understood the 1,000 UK jobs will be a mixture of in-house EE staff and roles likely to be outsourced to Convergys, which runs call centres in Newcastle and Edinburgh.
The jobs expansion represents a shift for EE, which has made cuts since it was formed by the merger of Orange and T-Mobile in 2010. It shed 1,200 jobs in an initial restructuring and Mr Swantee since cut a further 550 non-frontline roles to reduce costs while the operator invests in its 4G mobile broadband network.
Alongside the call centre restructuring, EE plans to increase its retail footprint by 50 stores as part of efforts to increase the proportion of its customers who buy direct rather than through third parties such as Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4U. Vodafone and Three are pursuing similar strategies.
EE closed nearly 80 stores last year in towns where two stores former Orange and T-Mobile stores were unnecessary or too close together. The new shops will be more spread or in towns where EE is not currently on the high street, the company said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Everything Everywhere Limited, trading as EE, is a mobile network operator and internet service provider company headquartered in Hatfield, United Kingdom.
Published: Friday, February 21, 2014