HMRC have increased their efforts to improve customer service and general operations in recent years, and the most recent move should help them with one of their long term targets. The revenue has confirmed that will be taking on an additional 1,000 staff at contact centres to increase the volume of calls they can answer.
One of the customer service goals is to achieve a 90% rate of call attempts handled by 2014/15. This is an ambitious target with the success rate at just 74% in 2011/12; however this was up from a disappointing 48% in 2010/11.
HMRC chief executive Lin Homer has confirmed that around £9m will be invested in call centres this year, with up to £25m of further investment in 2013/14 in order to help them meet their target. Following high levels of complaints and a poor level of service in the past, HMRC see this as a vital area for improvement.
Lin Homer said; “Our contact centres receive about 60 million phone calls a year and how well we operate this service is of huge importance to our customers. It is vital that when customers call us for help their call is answered – and in a reasonable time. The feedback we get is that the quality of the advice we give when people get through is good, but we haven’t been answering enough calls.”
With 28% of callers giving up during their call, and an average waiting time of 5:45, there is a long way to go for HMRC. However, they are confident that with this increased investment they can achieve their target earlier than promised.
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