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Serco signs contract with Ideal Shopping to provide contact centre services for all UK customers

Published: 2 Apr 2012

Serco, the international service company, today announces that it has signed a new contract with Ideal Shopping. Under the 5 year contract valued at £17m, Serco will provide customer contact services for all Ideal Shopping customers for its Ideal World, Create & Craft, Lead the Good Life and Pets & Wildlife brands. The service will be run from the UK, with contact centre operations in Peterborough in the UK, and Mumbai in India.

Serco will deliver all aspects of customer contact including customer acquisition, customer enquiries, inbound and outbound sales, credit applications, payments, order processing, and white mail and e-mail handling. We will also have opportunities to increasingly support web transactions and purchases and in the future deploy innovative service solutions including web chat and online advisers. Dedicated sales training programmes will be implemented for frontline staff to maximise sales effectiveness. The contract will employ 160 people with existing members of staff in Peterborough transferring to Serco, with their terms and conditions protected. As well as protecting the existing jobs, current projections indicate that 40 new jobs will be brought into the city within the first 12 months. In India, all existing contact volumes will transfer to Serco and will be located out of new premises in Mumbai.

"We made a strategic decision to seek a partner with a dedicated contact centre facility, who could work with us to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the overall customer contact service" says Mike Hancox, CEO of Ideal Shopping. "We're very pleased to be joining forces with Serco as it is a company that will introduce best in class working practices, as well as enhancing the customer experience through improved service levels and service quality. The efficiencies and effectiveness that Serco will bring to customer contact will enable us to focus on our core TV shopping operation."

Jerry Benson, Managing Director of Serco's UK and Europe Global Services private sector business, said, "This partnership is an exciting opportunity for Serco. It is the first contract that will be operating out of the UK and India as part of Serco's new Global Services capability, and demonstrates our capabilities as a key contact centre partner in the retail sector. Not only are we providing customer services capability but we will be cross-selling a range of complimentary retail and financial products. We very much look forward to developing our relationships with Ideal Shopping as we continue to develop our global business process outsourcing capability and the services that we provide to them and our other customers around the world."

Councillor Matthew Lee, Deputy Leader of Peterborough City Council, added, "I very much welcome the announcement of this new partnership and the positive economic benefits it brings to the city. Not only is it protecting existing jobs in Peterborough, but is also projecting to bring some 40 new jobs to Peterborough. All of which is very much in line with Serco's plans to develop its new operation in Peterborough as a regional service base"