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24 September 2014
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Andrew and Georgey
Andrew & Georgey

"Can I help you!"

Ever wondered what it's like to be at the OTHER end of the phone in a call centre - the one dealing with the calls? BBC Radio Leeds' Georgey and Andrew - usually in the studio for their breakfast show - ventured to Thornbury to find out!

Andrew writes:

We all get frustrated by call centres!  A few weeks ago I was frothing at the mouth about a mix up at our mortgage lender and spent part of the morning chatting to a very patient man in the call centre of a big West Yorkshire bank. 

Yes, I can turn into Mr Controlled-but-Angry... 

Thankfully he wasn't trying to get through every call in half a minute.  I've now learnt that means he must be working in a "High Discretion" rather than "Low Discretion" call centre.  Every business has its jargon!

Andrew and Georgey

This week has been designated National Customer Service Week.  But rather than simply spend our time chatting to bosses on the phone or in the studio, Georgey and I thought it would make sense to go to the front line. After all, West Yorkshire has, for a long time now, been known as the Call Centre Capital of Britain.

We're not dumb - we were never going to be welcomed with open arms into a bad call centre where you have to put your hand up for permission to go to the loo.  But still seeing and hearing for ourselves what it's like on the other end of the phone would be well worth trying. 

A few phone calls later and the nice people at Loop invited us in.  They provide call centre services for Yorkshire Water on a big site at Thornbury in Bradford, just next to the cinema.

On the morning of Thursday 5th October 2006, we took the BBC Radio Leeds breakfast show out there and you could hear how Georgey and I got on wearing the Madonna headsets.  "Hello, Yorkshire Water, may I take your reference number please?"

Want to find out how we got on? Have a listen by clicking on the links below! I somehow think we'd better stick with our jobs behind the mic!

You can hear Andrew Edwards and Georgey Spanswick on BBC Radio Leeds - broadcasting across the whole of West Yorkshire - on 92.4 FM from 6am to 9am every weekday. Good morning!

last updated: 05/10/06
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