Tesco Mobile neutralises accents of call centre staff

19 Mar 2008

Tesco Mobile has branded its own form of ‘received pronunciation’ for its customer service operators.

The mobile virtual network operator has selected Irish customer contact centre Conduit to handle a range of customer service requirements. In a move reminiscent of the BBC’s flattening out of regional accents for broadcasters in days gone by, Conduit employees undergo an ‘accent neutralisation’ course as part of the deal.

Conduit said that as Ireland has become more multiculturally integrated, it is important to ensure all staff speak in a way that can be best understood by all customers. As approximately 20pc of Conduit’s workforce are non-nationals, the accent neutralisation course was introduced, in consultation with Tesco Mobile, to train foreign national staff on the clearest pronunciation of western words and on effective communication.

An ’email etiquette’ course has also been developed in consultation with Tesco Mobile to ensure all communication is delivered in the client’s ‘tone of voice’.

Under the contract, Conduit will handle all customer registrations, service queries, transfer of customers’ numbers from other networks and back-office administration on behalf of Tesco Mobile.

Tesco Mobile assisted in the development of both programmes to ensure their brand identity and tone of voice was incorporated into the training.

Tesco Mobile is the latest addition to Conduit’s client portfolio, which also includes Tourism Ireland, TalkTalk and Vodafone UK.

“Tesco Mobile is a significant development for the Irish mobile phone industry, and Tesco Mobile is delighted to be working with an experienced and high-quality, customer-focused contact centre provider,” said Tom Britten, general manager, Tesco Mobile Ireland. “Conduit is a perfect fit and we look forward to working with them over the next few years.”

By Niall Byrne

Pictured from left to right are Denis Creighton, CEO of Conduit, Brian Hannon, business development manager, Conduit and Tom Britten, general manager, Tesco Mobile Ireland.