Watching budget coverage on TV is mostly a sobering experience but it put a smile on my face when I tuned into a BBC report this week which featured post budget interviews with staff at the Sage contact centre in the North East.

Every one of them delivered a bravura performance, giving informed and balanced insight on the implications of the budget.  It was heartening to see strong role models in the customer contact sector displaying the same sort of professionalism on live TV that they draw upon every day to deliver great customer service.

It was a happy counterpoint to news this week that the Information Commissioner’s Office has levied its first fine against a company for flouting TPS regulations on cold calling and for harrassing the public. 

They were not a member firm and such tactics are absolutely not the norm among our members, but such developments can unfairly tar the reputation of the wider contact centre sector and colour perceptions about the people who work in it.

The Sage team served as a timely public reminder that our sector is full of smart, motivated people who really care about their jobs and their customers. There are one million people in contact centre jobs in the UK and they deserve to be recognised for their skills and dedication.

We are passionate about highlighting the skills, expertise and diversity of the contact centre workforce. Greater recognition may be on the way if the ‘Martini Agent Future Scenario’ we debated at CCA Convention 2012 becomes a reality - with sought-after freelance agents attracting Trip Adviser style ‘star ratings’ for their skills in empathy, complaints handling or sales.

We are currently in discussions with a production company about potential involvement in a TV documentary focusing on the heroic role contact centre staff perform in handling customer complaints. We hope it can help open the public’s eyes to the reality of our industry and dispel some of the myths. We’ll keep you posted on opportunities for members to get involved as potential stars of the small screen.

Sticking with the people theme, ‘The Future Workforce’  is the topic for our Spring conference at RBS Edinburgh on 18th April. We’ll be discussing the people, policies and workplaces required to meet the needs of the future consumer.  Contact the team at CCA for more info on the event.

Have a great weekend!